11.03.14 - Award-winning Alumni Gets Royal Seal of Approval

A former Ockbrook School student is making a habit of moving in royal circles, with three invitations to events at St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle in the last six months.

Nineteen year old Sophie Martin from Alfreton, Derbyshire, enjoyed her first royal visit in November. She received her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award from HRH Duke of Edinburgh and TV presenter Fiona Philips at a presentation at St James’s Palace. She is due back at the official residence of the sovereign on March 19th 2014 when she hosts VIP guests in her capacity as a Gold Duke of Edinburgh volunteer.

Sophie’s third visit is as the only member of Alfreton District currently honoured with the Queen’s Scout Award (QSA). She will attend Windsor Castle on April 27th 2014 to take part in a celebration service and parade as Guard of Honour. The QSA celebrations held at Windsor Castle date back nearly 80 years and include a Mattins service at St. George’s Chapel.

Excited Sophie says: “I loved my time at Ockbrook School. It gave me the confidence and self-belief that has helped me achieve my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and my Queen’s Scout Award, as well as great A Level results!

“Not many people are lucky enough to visit a royal residence, but I’m getting to see three in such a short space of time. It’s quite bewildering, yet hugely exciting too and I’m very much looking forward to each occasion.”

Tom Brooksby, Head Teacher at Ockbrook School, added: “Sophie’s experiences are a great reflection of the value we place on extra-curricular activities and the real rewards and opportunities they can provide.

“We encourage all students to get involved with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme so that they are able to experience the same success that Sophie has, and everyone at Ockbrook is immensely proud of her achievements.”

Aside from her extra-curricular activities, Sophie belongs to the Officer’s Training Corps and was recently chosen to go skiing in Austria with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Her competitive edge has also spilled into her studies as she remains on track to gain a first-class degree in Physics from Cardiff University.