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The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Forfar present Awards to Moray pupils at Gordonstoun

Published by Gordonstoun on Tuesday 8th of November 2022

125 Moray schoolchildren were presented with special awards by Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Forfar and Wessex at Gordonstoun today. The participants received the Moray Badge Platinum Jubilee, an award established for one year to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and to encourage young people to get active, enjoy nature and be creative after lockdown.

The Earl of Wessex and Forfar, himself a former pupil of Gordonstoun, and The Countess of Wessex and Forfar presented badges to all the children and met staff involved in the project.

10 year old Amelia said,

“Prince Edward asked me what instrument I played and I told him I played the harp. He thought that was really cool. Everyone wanted to talk to him because he seemed so nice.”

Shona, who is also 10, said,

“Our whole class took part in the Moray Badge. I told him I played the cello. I also play the chanter but I didn’t say that in the moment because I thought you were only allowed to mention one instrument!”

10 year old Zara said, “I thought they were lovely and friendly. Meeting them was really exciting.”

Addressing the children after awarding the badges, The Earl of Wessex and Forfar, said,

“I’m impressed by the sheer number of schools and young people involved. It is a great way to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. I hope that it encourages you all to go on and do other exciting things and to use these experiences to make the most of the opportunities that are out there.”

Principal of Gordonstoun, Lisa Kerr, said,

“The original Moray Badge was created by Gordonstoun’s founder, Kurt Hahn and was awarded to pupils across Moray. It was awarded to The Duke of Edinburgh, The Earl of Wessex and Forfar’s father in 1937 and inspired the establishment of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. The Earl was very interested to hear about its reintroduction this year to mark the Platinum Jubilee and how it has encouraged young people to challenge themselves, get active and reconnect with nature following periods of lockdown. Gordonstoun is proud to have helped fund this project, as it is through challenging themselves that young people learn important skills for life.”

Helen Moore, Project Leader for the Moray Badge Platinum Jubilee, said

“Meeting the Earl and Countess was a wonderful way for these children and young people to celebrate the end of their Moray Badge Platinum Jubilee journey. The 125 children at this ceremony today represent about 5500 from 50 local schools, organisations and children who are home schooled. We know from pupils’, teachers and parents’ feedback that the Moray Badge has had a truly positive impact on their wellbeing, confidence and enjoyment of life.”

Their Royal Highnesses then presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the equivalent of an MBE – to members of Gordonstoun’s Fire Service. Gordonstoun is the only school in the UK where students are volunteer firefighters and attend incidents in the community as part of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Fadheela Redpath, who is in her final year of studies at Gordonstoun and is Captain of Fire, said,

“I think it was really interesting for The Earl of Wessex and Forfar to be back at his old school. His Royal Highness told me about fellow students in his house who were in the Fire Service at school and he was keen to hear about our latest call-outs. I said we’d been on four or five call outs already this term and they’d been very exciting. I explained how much I have gained personally from being part of this service to the local community.”

Stephen Wood is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Assistant Chief Officer for the North. He said:

“We congratulate Gordonstoun on receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and this year we are also delighted to mark the 80th anniversary of the Gordonstoun Fire Service. Being a firefighter is a noble service and profession which teaches invaluable life-saving skills, enhances personal development and encourages strong values of care for the welfare of others. Volunteer firefighters are exceptional individuals who protect their communities when they are needed most and I would like to thank all volunteer firefighters at Gordonstoun, past and present, for their dedication and commitment. We would urge people from all walks of life who have different skills and experience to consider joining SFRS and to play an important role in your local community.”

The Earl and Countess went on to view archive material relating to the school days of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, following in the footsteps of The Princess Royal who visited Gordonstoun in March and who holds the ambassadorial role of ‘Warden’ at the school.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Forfar present Awards to Moray pupils at Gordonstoun - Photo 1The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Forfar present Awards to Moray pupils at Gordonstoun - Photo 2The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Forfar present Awards to Moray pupils at Gordonstoun - Photo 3
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