Gold award for Luke!

Luke Hant, who has earned his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, pictured with his grandma Catherine Hant
Luke Hant, who has earned his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, pictured with his grandma Catherine Hant

A young man with learning difficulties has overcome the odds to earn his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Luke Hant, 20, lives in East Bierley, and has completed the award after attending sessions at D-Zone Duke of Edinburgh activity group in Mirfield, despite having suspected autism.

Luke, who grew up in Staincliffe with his grandmother, Catherine Hant, took part in walking expeditions and community projects to get his award, which came complete with a royal seal of approval.

Mrs Hant said: “I am very proud of him – to do this and get through this with all the problems he has had over the years is remarkable. He has already got his bronze and silver awards, so it is something he is very committed to.

“He was unable to go to the presentation in London, but he still received a letter and certificate signed by Prince Phillip.”

Luke lived with Mrs Hant until two years ago, when his behaviour became unmanageable and he had to move to residential care at Willow View at East Bierley.

Luke now visits her twice a week, and she said his activities with D-Zone had made the world of difference.

She said: “Whenever he visits me now, he is always happy to see me – he gives me a hug and kiss whenever he comes back!

“The activities he has done there have really helped him.”

Luke has now got a taste for the outdoors, and has become a keen walker.