A youngster from 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Company, The Boys’ Brigade, has been presented with a Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award certificate at a special ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, gave the Royal seal of approval to Campbell McNicol as he spoke to him ahead of the awards ceremony.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, presented his certificate.

Campbell undertook a variety of challenges to achieve his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award including volunteering at an after school club and a four-day hike in Mull.

He said: “I decided to do the award because I wanted to challenge myself and obtain a sense of achievement. I was also very aware of the benefits for the future of obtaining the Gold award.

“The overall experience was challenging but very enjoyable and I would definitely recommend the award.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I was honoured to present the members of The Boys’ Brigade with their awards. Achieving a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award is a huge achievement and the result of a lot of hard work and dedication.

“They are all fantastic ambassadors for The Boys’ Brigade and their local communities.”

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Bill Stevenson, director of The Boys’ Brigade in Scotland said: “I am exceptionally proud of Campbell and everything he has achieved to complete his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. While working towards the award, he undertook a lot of work, which at times was tough, but his resilience and dedication is highly commendable.”

The Gold award is the highest accolade in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme which started in 1956. The awards were set up to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements. Currently over 300,000 young people participate in DofE programmes each year.