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Duke of Edinburgh Award changed a girl’s life

Myah Richards
Myah Richards Image credit: hertfordshiremercury.co.uk

Since the passing of Prince Philip earlier this month a number of stories have been told on how the royal supported people with disabilities, such as Myah Richards.

The 21-year-old has spastic diplegia, she relies on a wheelchair and a walking frame to move around, but her mobility challenges have never held her back.

Whilst studying at Lonsdale School in Stevenage Myah signed up to the Duke of Edinburgh Award which changed her life.

“It’s taught me that, yes, I’m disabled, but I can do what anybody else can do,” Myah told PA news agency.

“My disability is not me, it’s just part of me.”

Myah has already achieved her Bronze award on the scheme and is now aiming to complete her Silver.

To complete all complete four sections participants must show their expertise in volunteering, physical, skills and expedition.

Richards, from St Albans, has already performed a wheelchair dance, shown her knowledge in social enterprise and been on her first camping expedition.

She said: “It involved different things – meeting different people, interacting with different people which, because of my disability, previously I found quite difficult.

“So it increased my confidence and it made me realise that, yes, I’m disabled, but I can still achieve, and I can still be part of normal things, so to speak.”

When she first started the scheme Myah admits she was not quite sure who the Duke was, but when she heard of his death she was “gutted”.

“Then I realised, wow, someone in the royals has actually thought about us as a society, and young people as a whole, and actually did something that will help us participate in society,” she said.

“Without him I know I myself would have left school with no qualifications probably.”

Following his death it was also revealed the Duke of Edinburgh befriended a carriage rider after they were involved in a life-changing accident.

For more information visit the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award website.