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25th August 2021

5000th Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

Oakham School has a very distinguished history when it comes to the Duke of Edinburgh Award. One of our most notable achievements is becoming the first single unit to achieve 1000 gold awards. In this blog, we shall be taking a look back at the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the year 2000 and the momentous celebration evening for the 1000th gold award.

The award began as a pilot scheme in 1956 at Gordonstoun School, developing from a scheme which the Duke himself had partaken in when a pupil. The first gold awards were achieved in 1958.

The school’s first cohort of Duke of Edinburgh pupils began the course in 1960 and the very first Oakhamian to receive a gold award was in 1963.

Expeditions in the year 2000

Oakham girls went walking Lake district. “The weather was kind and the high winds and dusting of snow merely served to enhance the already dramatic scenery”. The girls were praised for their “determination, patience, teamwork and lots of laughter”. 

Girls on their silver Duke of Edinburgh walking expedition, 2000. 

Gold pupils went walking in Snowdonia. Dilukshi Leanage described the experience as “the most mentally and physically challenging” thing she had ever done. Dilukshi does however go on to describe the “moments of hilarity” that occurred on the walk and the close friendships that grew out of the camaraderie in the group.

Pupils on their gold walking expedition, 2000.

Gold cycling pupils went to St. Bees (along with their silver colleagues) and travelled through Hardknott and Wrynose to get to Robin Hood’s bay.

Pupils on their gold Duke of Edinburgh cycling expedition, 2000. 

Award Winners 2000

Below are a list of all of the Duke of Edinburgh Award winners in the year 2000.


  • Caroline Tom
  • Claire Bairsto
  • Sarah Shaw
  • Charlotte Hockin
  • Matthew Bowerman
  • Ian Milne
  • Rachel Pitts-Tucker
  • Jodie Gray
  • Carolyn Feasey
  • Thomas Wheeler
  • Caroline MacLeod-Smith
  • Charles Archer
  • Margo Chung
  • Chris Bruce
  • Alice Shorthouse
  • Sarah Davenport
  • Emma Mortimer
  • Richard Gregory
  • Amy Sebire
  • Moira Campbell
  • Chloe Amstein
  • Susie Blinch
  • Selina Conboy
  • Sarah Fergus
  • Katie Winfield
  • Fraser Williams
  • Daniel Guest
  • Adrian Newell
  • Susan Evans
  • Christopher Roper
  • Alex Dalton
  • Peter Preston
  • Matthew Bovingdon
  • Hannah Squirrell
  • Charlotte Rynn
  • Ruth Catallo
  • Sarah Skuse
  • Gemma Wilde
  • James Stein
  • Emily Dove
  • Guy Davidson
  • Jessica Wall
  • Richard Gromett
  • Philippa Hurwood
  • Gregory Pedder
  • Davinia North
  • Emma Pigott
  • Lucy Hairsine
  • Rebecca Leighton
  • Thomas Smith
  • Andrew R Wilson
  • Rebecca Gammon,
  • Charles Yandell
  • Andrew Craig
  • David Woodhouse


  • Joanna Camp
  • Hayley Ellis
  • Nicholas Dehnel
  • Caroline Macleod-Smith
  • Adam Cropper
  • Georgina Crisp
  • Rachel Ball
  • Camilla Lawson
  • Lucie Scott
  • Peter Barklem
  • Harry Few
  • Julian Cheatle
  • Richard Norris
  • Victoria Spencer
  • Kate Campbell
  • Karen Sells
  • Virginia Kemp
  • Hannah Squirrell
  • Elizabeth Towl
  • Renaud van Strydonck
  • Joshua Mangeot
  • Holly Strickland
  • Jenny Moran
  • Aram Torosyan-Compton
  • Louisa Rodriguez
  • Timothy George
  • James Ferrow
  • Rupert Bowkett
  • Jack Davidson
  • James Fergus
  • James Hall
  • Sebastian Taylor
  • Roo Burrows
  • Richard Gromett
  • Hannah Kochmann
  • Clare Buckley
  • Tom Francis
  • Edward French
  • Andrew Cummine
  • Rebecca Leighton
  • Torben Sherwood
  • Matthew Roper
  • Katie Ball
  • Louise Sweart-Wilson
  • Ben Smith


  • Joanna Camp
  • Laura Amstein
  • Veryan Eperon
  • Peter Barklem
  • Glyn Lloyd
  • Camilla Lawson
  • Richard Sowter
  • Lauren Branagh
  • Holly Cole-Hawkins
  • Julian Cheatle
  • Tristan Steen
  • Javed Huq
  • Christopher Gutteridge
  • Adam Miller
  • Stephen Dixon
  • Joseph Wheeler
  • Thomas Gregory
  • Laurence Edwards
  • David Piper
  • Deborah Whitfield
  • Isabelle Rowe
  • Katy Moss
  • Francesca Applegate
  • Miriam Farley
  • Tania Ryopponen
  • Pippa Batty
  • Eleanor Ball
  • Katherine Denbigh
  • Timothy Hall
  • Elizabeth Morrison
  • Elizabeth Farrar
  • Holly-Ann Bartram
  • Timothy Dehnel
  • Jonathan Brayshaw
  • Louisa Rodriguez
  • Emily Minton
  • James Ferrow
  • Rachel Moore
  • Guy Gibbeson
  • Virginia Kemp-Taylor
  • Georgina Sharpley
  • Caroline Reid 
  • Saman Harris
  • Hannah Kochmann
  • Yair Zivan
  • Gregory Charters
  • Katherine Algar
  • Oliver RC Smith

1000th Gold Award Celebration

On the 28th November 2000, to celebrate the school’s 1000th gold award, the Duke of Edinburgh himself attended a special event at the school.

The official 1000th gold award was awarded to head girl, Selina Conboy, in front of an audience in the Smallbone Library.

Selina Conboy being awarded the 5000th Gold Award.

Amongst the award were Duke of Edinburgh award winners past and present including the very first gold award winner, Tony Barber. The first girl to be presented the gold award was Mary Melley in the 1970s.

Tony Barber, the first winner from Oakham School of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. 

After the presentation, the Duke took time to speak to staff and students.

The Duke meeting staff and pupils at the event in the Smallbone Library. 

Since the year 2000, Oakham School has continued to promote the scheme to all pupils and in May 2011, the school reached another milestone of 5000 gold awards.

The 5000th certificate. 

Were you at the award ceremony or have you ever completed the Duke of Edinburgh award with Oakham School? If so, we would love to hear from you about your experiences.


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