FOUR friends have travelled to Buckingham Palace to collect their Duke of Edinburgh gold awards.

The four – Rhys James from Neuadd Cross, Hannah Rowcliffe from Pencader and brother and sister Gareth and Hannah Stevenson from Penparc – set up their own group to take on the challenge.

“There was a gap of a couple of years at school where people could not do the scheme,” said Hannah, who is now studying maths and special education at Liverpool University.

“There was a few of us in Cardigan wanted to do it and it saw 10 of us start out to do the bronze award, then six did the silver and finally the four of us completed the gold award.”

The group had help from Ceredigion Youth Service while Hannah and Gareth’s mum Jackie took on the role of designated leader after earning the appropriate qualifications.

“It has been a massive challenge but something we are all very proud to have achieved,” added Hannah. “Our expedition was a cycling one – me and my brother on a tandem in Belgium!”