Former Omagh Academy pupil, Katie Buchanan, recently travelled to Buckingham Palace to attend a garden party where she received her gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Commenting on the experience, Katie, who lives in Omagh and is now at university, told the Tyrone Constitution: “During my time at Omagh Academy, throughout the 2016/ 2017 school year I worked towards completing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. This involved many practice hikes in the Sperrin and Mourne mountains, as well as a 12-month long programme of physical, skill-based and volunteering activities, all leading up to a final four day hike in the Mournes in June 2017. We walked 80km in challenging conditions, but thankfully made it to the end!”
Katie continued: “I completed the award in September 2017 was invited to attend a garden party in Buckingham Palace to receive my certificate”.
And so she travelled to London with her mum, Ann, earlier this year. “It was amazing to get a chance to wander around the palace grounds and I felt a great sense of pride and achievement being amongst the hundreds of other recipients. We had all worked so hard to get there,” said Katie.
“The ceremony consisted of an address and presentation of the certificates by many well-known celebrities, who themselves had a link to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. We also had the opportunity to speak to members of the Royal family - Prince William, Prince Andrew and Princess Eugenie - who commended us on our success. It was a once in a lifetime experience and a day I will never forget.”