Former apprentices at UK Power Networks in Bury St Edmunds reflect on Prince Philip's 'fantastic legacy' after achieving Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards
Two former electrical apprentices from Suffolk have reflected on the 'fantastic legacy' left by Prince Philip after they both gained their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards.
Billy Boggis and Callum Stevenson work for UK Power Networks in Bury St Edmunds and completed their awards as part of their apprenticeships.
Since 2016, all apprentices who join the utility company have taken part in the scheme founded by the late Duke of Edinburgh whose funeral is being held today.
Thirty five apprentices recently finished their award after completing all five sections which involve several challenges including learning a skill, volunteering and training and completing a four-day, three-night camping expedition.
Callum, of Stowmarket, said the award was a 'fantastic legacy' for the Duke and he was proud to have achieved it.
The 20-year-old, who is now employed in the company's plant workshop, added: "Getting the Gold Award was always high on the list of things I wanted to do.
"You spend a lot of time with the other apprentices anyway, but doing the Gold Award you get to learn a bit more about each other and you really help each other through.
"I already volunteered as a police cadet in Stowmarket so extended that as part of the award. I also did a Snowdonia trek and developed my horse riding skills."
Billy, of Trimley St Martin, said there were times he found the scheme 'really challenging and tough' but he felt a 'real rush of pride' when he completed it.
As part of his volunteering for the scheme, the 24-year-old helped at an elderly friend's house.
Billy, who is now a jointer for UK Power Networks, added: "It is hugely sad that the Duke has passed away, but it’s great this award was established by him and will keep going."
Nigel Grapes, engineering trainees team leader, praised the scheme as a 'life changing experience' which helps apprentices understand the importance of teamwork and being able to deal with adversity.
"Many of these benefits may not appear in the individual for several years, but will manifest in their individual 'makeup' and provide them with memories that will later support their career and life choices," he added.