TWINS from Darlington enjoyed a Royal date at St James’s Palace thanks to their efforts in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme (DofE).

Lucy and Emily Anderson, both 19 and of Low Coniscliffe, joined other young achievers from across the UK to receive their certificates from the (DofE) patron and founder – HRH Prince Philip.

Lucy and Emily, former pupils of Hummersknott School and Queen Elizabeth College, worked tirelessly through the five sections of their DofE programme over several months to achieve their Gold Award.

Their activities involved voluntary work with young people and winning a Darlington Vibe award and a Community Crew award by sailing a barge for a crew of ten along the Liverpool to Leeds canal.

They also learned sign language and signed to the Earl of Wessex when he visited the North-East.

Lucy said of their experience: “The DofE has had a positive impact on our lives and it was great meeting new people and helping the local community.

"The skills we have gained helped us secure university places at Birmingham where Emily is studying chemical engineering and Sheffield where I am studying environmental science.”