EIGHT local young people were presented with the top Duke of Edinburgh award.
Members of the Invicta DofE Award group were among 25 who received gold at a recent ceremony.
The presentation was made by the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field.
Also present were Chris Dowling, the chairman of East Sussex County Council, and Christian Scott, director of the south east region of the DofE Award.
The youngsters who achieved gold awards were Jonathan Platten, Amanda Terry, John Bruckshaw, Sam Drawbridge, Michaela Lee, Amy Harding, Alice Ball and Joanna Hayes.
Both Amy and Amanda live in Hastings while the others are from the Bexhill area.
They each undertook activities in five sections - volunteering, interest, physical, expedition and residential.
The programme they followed was personal to them, and a diverse range of activities was the result. It included learning to drive, working alongside a vet, helping at scout group, working at an orphanage in Tanzania, doing a future leader course with the Youth Hostel Association, and teaching in Kenya. All the young people completed a four day wild country backpacking expedition in the Welsh mountains in the rain and snow.
Rosemary Henley, who is the leader of the Invicta group, said she was “very proud” of them and wished them well for the future.
She said: “This achievement shows what young people can do if they want to rise to a challenge, and is well recognised by employers and universities alike.”
Invicta meets at Beulah Baptist church in Bexhill - for more information call Rosemary on 01424 225388.