A young man who was diagnosed with a rare disability after gaining a silver Duke of Edinburgh Award has showcased his determination by achieving gold.
Tim Croydon, 24, of Flempton, has to use a wheelchair due to the rare and complex degenerative neurological condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia Type SPG 11.
He was having problems walking while completing his silver Duke of Edinburgh Award aged 17 and was diagnosed two years later.
This didn’t deter him from embarking on the gold award and, following a specialist expedition, he was presented with the accolade by adventurer Oliver Hicks at St James’s Palace, where he was congratulated by The Duke of Edinburgh.
His mum Hilary said: “We are very proud of Tim because he has never wavered in his determination to achieve the gold award.
“The D of E team were very flexible in their approach to disability, while ensuring that the expeditions were challenging. Disability is not a barrier to the D of E gold award.”
Tim, who attended King Edward VI School, worked through the various elements of the award and arranged a specialist expedition through the Bendrigg Trust charity.
The expedition in the Lake District included canoeing and the use of a power chair.
He said: “I volunteered with the youth club at Fornham St Martin and I played with Bury Bombers Wheelchair Basketball Club for the sport section. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done for the awards but especially canoeing in the Lake District and getting to know new people.”