PUPILS and staff at an Ellesmere Port school have shown great determination to continue the Duke of Edinburgh award despite the challenges brought on by the Covid pandemic.

Archers Brook SEMH Residential School in Great Sutton began taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) initiative over two years ago with a group of Year 9 pupils.

But just as the pupils were about to go on their expedition, the Covid lockdown was imposed, meaning no expeditions could take place.

Undeterred, DofE co-ordinator at the school David Steadman was able to find a way for pupils to complete the expedition, meaning the school – which has stayed open throughout the pandemic – was the only one in the country to complete the full DofE Award.

It meant that the children were able to overcome serious social, emotional and mental health problems to reach the impressive achievement.

Mr Steadman added their efforts did not go un-noticed, with pupil Ewan Pryor receiving a special invitation.

He said: "The powers to be at the DofE were so impressed they invited a pupil to Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall to tell the story in front of HRH Prince Edward and 30 wealthy donors.

"It was an inspirational speech which Prince Edward commented that these stories continue his father's legacy and the spirit of the DofE will continue to grow stronger."

The supporters' dinner hosted by the DofE Award was held in honour of all of the DofE supporters in the North West region in order to showcase DofE activity as well as to thank all those who have supported the award.

Another three pupils have just passed their bronze award, and Ellesmere Port MP Justin Madders is due to present their award in school next month.