Gold and Diamond Celebrations for OBA at Buckingham Palace

The golden sun shone brightly for a golden celebration last week when students and staff from Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy attended the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace. The event was an even bigger affair as it celebrated the scheme's 60th diamond anniversary celebrations.

OBA Buckingham Palace

The award, which started in 1956, was originally introduced to bridge the gap between boys leaving school and entering National Service, and it has since grown into the world's leading youth achievement award.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex, and dozens of celebrities attended including actress Anna Friel and singer Ronan Keating to name but a few. Special guest Tony Mullins, 76, from Birmingham, joined the festivities who was one of 49 boys to receive a Gold Award in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace in 1958.

Each Gold Award achiever was presented with their certificate and heard from Natalie Coyle, Soprano, famous for singing the National Anthem, on how The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme had helped her overcome her battle with dyslexia and achieve her goal to become a professional singer.

One of OBA's Duke of Edinburgh's Managers, Zaina Porschke who was delighted to attend said: "To be invited to Buckingham Palace and be in the presence of members of The Royal Family was a real honour. It was such a special occasion and it is hard to believe that this amazing scheme has been in place, offering so much for so many, for sixty years. I am very proud of all OBA's students that have completed their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. It really does help to build character, self-confidence and raise the aspirations of young people."