NINE sixth formers from Abbeyfield School have achieved the prestigious Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and will be going to Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Edward.

Erin Jones, Harrison Jones, Matt Hart, Lauren Smith, Jamie Heath, Victoria Summers, Lucy James, Harvey Weir and Rebecca Cooke have all joined an exclusive club of resilient young people, who have met the rigorous criteria for the awards.

To achieve this, they had to complete the five sections of the award: physical; skill; volunteering; residential and finish a gruelling expedition. Experiences ranged from working with and supporting elderly dementia sufferers to conserving marine life in Tenerife.

Student Lauren Smith said: “Completing Gold took me out of my comfort zone and gave me confidence.”

The group will make their royal visit on Thursday (May 17)