Emmalee Wray is celebrating a golden career in the Army Cadet Force after receiving a coveted gold Duke of Edinburgh Award at St James Palace.
Emmalee travelled to London with her mum Debbie-Lee, who hails from a well known Lurgan family, and she is justly proud of her daughter.
For nineteen-year-old Emmalee, the award marks the successful conclusion of five years with the Ballymena Detachment of the Army Cadet Force, where she proved a high achieving as well as a popular and enthusiastic Cadet.
“After achieving my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards within the Cadets, I couldn’t wait to start to work towards my Gold,” she said. “I chose netball as my sport and singing as my skill – two activities which I really enjoyed and will keep up.
“The residential section of my DoE was run at Ballykinler in County Down, but it involved Cadets from right across the UK. Together we took part in all sorts of outdoor activities and we earned leadership qualifications. As a bonus, when I completed that residential training, I discovered that I had been selected to represent the Army Cadet Force UK as the Queen’s Cadet at her 90th birthday beacon lighting at Windsor Castle. It was one of the best experiences of my life and meeting the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh was something I will never forget.”