Royal touch at award celebrations
A ROYAL appearance added extra sparkle to diamond anniversary celebrations in Lochaber.
HRH The Earl of Wessex met ScotRail staff at Fort William railway station as well as pupils and staff from local schools to mark 60 years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s award (DofE).
The Prince was welcomed by Phil Verster from ScotRail before the two pedalled the first mile – on static bikes – of a 348-mile cycle being undertaken by 11 ScotRail apprentices as part of their ‘diamond challenge’. Mr Verster, ScotRail Alliance’s managing director, said: ‘I am immensely proud of our all our apprentices who have worked very hard towards a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to gain invaluable skills which will stay with them forever. We are honoured to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to help us celebrate the diamond anniversary.’
Peter Westgarth, chief executive officer of DofE, said: ‘The charity is an integral part of life in Scotland which has played an invaluable role in the development of many young people.’
Lochaber High School pupils on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme show the Earl pictures of their expedition canoeing on Loch Arkaig.
The Earl hands over a certificate to Nicola Smith and Iain Morrison to mark the University of the Highlands and Islands on becoming a licensed DofE centre.