THREE former students of The Littlehampton Academy have received a top award from Prince Philip.
Amber Wallace, 20, Maddison Elder, 19, and Maddie Moore, 19, were each presented with their Duke of Edinburgh gold award during a ceremony at St James’ Palace in London.
It was the culmination of six years’ worth of hard work for the trio of friends.
Celebrity ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell was one of the guests of honour during the awards ceremony.
Before presenting the accolade to the group, she spoke of her determination and perseverance to become a dancer – skills she said were key in picking up the gold award.
Amber’s mum, Karen Wallace, of Hawley Road, Rustington, said: “All three of them were blown away by the awards.
“I think it’s the fact that the Duke of Edinburgh was there. It’s something that will stay with them all forever.”
The gold award is the highest that can be achieved and requires each participant to work through five sections of the scheme – volunteering, physical, skills, expedition and residential – for a period of at least 18 months.
Amber, Maddison and Maddie were among 250 young people from across the region to achieve the award.
Karen added that Amber had a chance to chat with Prince Philip.
“He asked the girls if any of them had completed part of their DofE abroad,” Karen said. “And Amber said she had travelled to Kenya, with the CRED Foundation about two years ago. He seemed really interested.”
The friends still do voluntary work, with Maddie and Maddison helping disabled people to learn how to swim with the Arun Dolphins Club, based at Littlehampton Swimming and Sports Centre, while Amber assists as a group leader on the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award scheme