James will receive gold award at palace

Going for gold: James Matthewman.
Going for gold: James Matthewman.

A cub leader, who has worked his way up through 101st Kempston Scout group, will visit St James’s Palace next week to receive his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

James Matthewman, 18, will be presented the gong on Wednesday in the presence of patron and founder of the award His Royal Royal Highness Prince Philip.

The teenager has spent the last year completing the challenge, having already earlier secured his bronze and silver awards.

He had to completed five sections for the gold award - expeditions, physical, community, skill and a residential stay.

James, of Kempston, spent four days camping and five days hiking in the Lake District and Peak District with a team for his expedition section, he learnt how to drive and is due to take his practical test shortly for skill, did rock climbing for the physical aspect, gave back to the community by becoming a young leader at 101st Kempston Scout Group and completed a five-day residential course.

His proud mother Louise said: “I’m very proud, very proud indeed.

“It has all come about because he went through scouting - he started at beavers, cubs and scouts and then went on to explorers at the age of 14.”

James was a young leader with 101st Kempston Scout group from the age of 16 to 18 and he is now a cub leader.

He is doing a residential apprenticeship at Walesby Forest Centre to become an instructor for a range of outdoor activities.

James’ brother Sam, who is 16, has completed his bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards and is also hoping to achieve the gold accolade.