The Duke of Cambridge has presented the first charity award named in his honor to a group of children from Oldham.

His Royal Highness gave the SkillForce Prince’s Award to 10 children who worked on community projects with the SkillForce charity, ahead of a gala dinner at St James’s Palace.

Three of the young people who won were Noah Levins, 15, Teegan Cowley-Merrington, 15, and Lee Booth, 16, from Saddleworth School in Oldham.

They turned a derelict piece of ground into an outside area for disabled children, cutting back trees and painting fences. Teegan said: “We just felt very proud of what we had done.”

The educational charity, of which The Duke is Patron, works with 10,000 young people in 150 schools in the UK who are in danger of leaving school without useful skills and qualifications.

The Duke spoke afterwards at a dinner for the 100 Women In Hedge Funds Philanthropic Initiatives, a group of which he is also patron and which sponsored the awards.

“At SkillForce, they take under their wing those children and young people who have found it hard to adjust to the disciplined learning environment necessary for a good education,” he said. "Through careful and dedicated mentoring, these role models achieve quite astonishing results.

“From being the disruptive element in the classroom, SkillForce young people become net contributors, leaving school with a qualification but, more importantly, a far brighter prospect of being valuable members of society.”

The SkillForce Prince’s Award saw the teenagers take part in a 24-hour challenge, in which they work together to plan and implement a program that will make a significant contribution to their community.


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