STUDENTS at a specialist college have been recognised for their achievements in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.

The 60 learners from Derwen College, near Oswestry complete their awards at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels this term, and marked their success at a Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Celebration.

Derwen College principal Meryl Green said the college was delighted to celebrate the achievements of so many students and to recognise the dedication of staff.

The event drew 200 people, including students, families and sponsors. Several charities supported students’ efforts, donating funds for expeditions and residential activities such as a walking expedition through Snowdonia and activities in the Lake District.

Meryl added: “The number of students participating in the awards this year has been higher than ever, growing from just a handful of students when we first started offering the awards to the 60 who have been successful this year!

In May, five current and two former students were invited to Buckingham Palace to collect their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards from last year.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards were launched in 1956 by Prince Philip, and are aimed at developing young people’s skills for life.

The awards require students to choose one sport, craft or skill and to take part in voluntary work. Students took six months to complete the Bronze and Silver and one year to achieve Gold.

Sports co-ordinator Steve Evans said Derwen College was proud of the programme.

He added: “The level of commitment needed from the students, their parents and college staff is immense but it’s worth all the hard work.

“We are very grateful to our sponsors who have helped make the awards possible and to Kev Homewood of Shropshire Paddlesport who loaned us all the equipment for the Silver canoe expeditions and supported with training and the practice expedition.”