Turnbull High School pair become real golden girls

Gemma Swan
Gemma Swan

Two dedicated youngsters have become the first members of their school community to be awarded a Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award.

Gemma Swann and Fiona Milligan are the Turnbull High School trailbreakers who have successfully accomplished the numerous challenges and tasks required to bag the top award.

Eilidh Doe

Eilidh Doe

The pair were required to take part in a number of year-long voluntary activities, lengthy expeditions and leadership roles on their way to the gold.

Fiona received the award at Holyrood Palace, while Gemma made the journey to London to collect hers at Buckingham Palace.

Fiona’s highlights included volunteering with the local Brownies, which she said prepared her for the two gruelling five-day expeditions she took part in.

She added: “My Duke Of Edinburgh experience has been truly amazing. It has challenged me both physically and mentally, yet I would not take one minute of it back.

“I would thoroughly recommend this experience to everyone as I owe Duke Of Edinburgh some of my best memories and the feeling you get when you complete it is like no other.”

Gemma, meanwhile, enjoyed an array of different activities, including volunteering at St Matthew’s Church, playing the French horn and joining the Glasgow Flames netball team.

She also relished the challenges presented by the outdoor elements of the award.

She explained: “During the expeditions, although there was some challenging weather, the experience of sleeping under the stars in the stunning countryside was priceless.

“Overall, Duke of Edinburgh taught me perseverance and teamwork skills which I can now transfer in the future. I would definitely recommend doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as it is such a worthwhile and rewarding experience.

Mrs Irvine, Principal Teacher of Physical Education, said: “Achieving this highest award involves a lot of time and commitment along with a lot of dedication and determination and both of these girls have shown these qualities in abundance, becoming the first in the school to achieve this.

“Special thanks on their behalf goes to Mr Corr, Alison Higham, Laurence Archer, Noelle and Keith from the Allander Open Centre, and, of course, their own families.

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the school continues to go from strength to strength with Mr Corr and Mrs Taylor now focussing on the Bronze Award, Mr Sloan and Miss O’Prey now delivering the Silver Award, and Mr Orr hoping to come on board at Gold level soon.”