Palace honour for Sheffield golden boy

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Fionn Shiles from Sheffield has joined hundreds of other young achievers from across the country to receive the prestigious gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The former Silverdale schoolboy, aged 18, worked with the Silver Steelers DofE group for 12 months covering five sections of his programme to achieve his Gold Award.

His activities included volunteering, kickboxing his way to a blackbelt, and becoming a more proficient guitarist.

With the help of five other Silver Steelers members, Fionn also trekked 45 miles with a total ascent of 5,500 feet over four days, during challenging weather conditions in the Scottish Highlands.

Fionn, from Millhouses, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every part of the DofE programme.

“The expedition was challenging and enjoyable - I particularly enjoyed the wild camping in the vast natural landscapes of the Highlands.”

The Silver Steelers was run by a group of parents with support from Molly and Norman Gill at the Sheffield Award Centre.

Fionn, who is now studying for a degree in criminology and criminal justice with psychology at De Monfort University in Leicester, said: “By doing DofE I’ve learned a lot about myself, grown in self-confidence and resilience, and made some friends for life.

“I’d recommend it to everyone.”

Fionn’s dad Tim Shiles said: “I think it’s fantastic, it shows a lot of dedication and they are an inspiration for others. “

Fionn will travel to London on November 12 to receive his award from the Duke of Edinburgh at St James’s Palace.