THE country’s leading cadets including a teenager from Yate have been honoured at the House of Lords.

Seventeen-year-old Flight Sergeant Eloise Robertson is one of nine Duke of Westminster finalists picked earlier this year after a four-day training event in Somerset.

Eloise, a pupil at Yate International Academy, joined the other eight finalists at the Lords on Thursday (June 26) at a prestigious awards ceremony hosted by education charity CVQO.

Following the presentation the finalists were awarded with their ILM Level 3 qualifications, earned through their activities at the Duke of Westminster's Award selection event in April. They then enjoyed lunch with their friends, families and CVQO patrons in the terrace pavilion of the House of Lords.

In July, the national finalists depart for a three-week expedition to South Africa where they will undertake an environmental awareness course in Kwa Zulu Natal and a cultural project working with and teaching orphaned children. In addition they will visit Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and take part in a walking safari.

Eloise, a member of the 2509 Chipping Sodbury Squadron, was selected from 400 initial nominees.

Guy Horridge, CVQO chief executive, said: "This year's selection event has been the closest run contest so far, with some excellent cadets making it through to the final 24 in Somerset.

“We are confident that the lucky nine will have a fantastic experience in South Africa and wish them the very best of luck with the expedition."

Eloise said: "I'm enjoying being in a new situation with the other cadets and although only nine will get to South Africa, the 24 of us will be friends forever."