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Holbury Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteer Bob Rhodes receives royal recognition

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A VOLUNTEER from Holbury has become one of only 50 in the UK to be royally recognised for his “exceptional dedication” to supporting young people through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Bob Rhodes has been a member of the organisation for 48 years, spending the last 11 as the Hampshire and Brighton DofE expedition trainer and assessor.

He received a personal letter of commendation from Prince Edward – a DofE Trustee – and a commemorative coin marking the life and legacy of the late Duke of Edinburgh, who launched the initiative in 1956.

Bob Rhodes being presented to the Duke of Edinburgh
Bob Rhodes being presented to the Duke of Edinburgh

Only 50 people across the UK were selected to receive the special award.

Bob, who has also run the Calshot Youth Ski Club for 25 years, said: “There is one highlight for me that encompasses the extraordinary achievements of young people undertaking the DofE.

“For the end of the final day of a gold qualifying expedition in the Cevennes, an additional needs team of seven, including two with mobility challenges, chose the ascent of Mont Loziere.

“The final push to the top was considered to be too steep for the young lady with MS who was given the option of a contour path to the finish. Sat at the top of Mont Loziere, I waited and watched the team appear and start the climb.

Bob trekking in Nepal
Bob trekking in Nepal

“It was emotional to see, after a small gap, the seventh team member appears too. No easy option taken. What an achievement for them all.”

DofE chief executive Ruth Marvel said: “If young people are the heart of our organisation, volunteers are the lungs, breathing life into our programmes, changing the lives of young people so that they have the confidence and resilience to deal with whatever life might have in store.

“At a time when so many young people are facing unprecedented challenges, DofE volunteers are instrumental in helping them to regain a sense of purpose, possibility and control over their futures.

“Thank you to everyone in the DofE volunteer family who has helped support so many young people through the most difficult of times.”

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