A 23-YEAR-old student is proving disabilities is no barrier to achieving gold, as she heads to the palace.

Lowri Harper, from Pershore, is travelling to Buckingham Palace on May 22, to receive her Duke of Edinburgh gold award.

“My brother is going with me and I have already decided on what I am going to wear - a yellow top with flowers and nice trousers,” said Lowri.

“I’m so excited.”

For her parents, Denise Price and John Harper, it has been a long journey from that premature baby girl who died twice while in hospital. John also had to resuscitate her once at home.

Lowri, who has Down’s Syndrome, was born with two holes in her heart. As a baby she was very poorly and spent a great deal of time in hospital.

Now she is in final year at National Star, a specialist college for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, where she studies creative and performing arts.

Her dream is to be a dancer and while at National Star Lowri has taken part in a range of drama and dance performances.

She started her Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards at National Star and has completed all three levels in just three years.

As part of her gold qualifications Lowri supported other young people on respite at National Star, volunteered at the charity’s animal club and worked with other DofE members to investigate the accessibility in stately home gardens and make recommendations.

Richard Brand, DofE award co-ordinator at National Star.“Lowri has demonstrated commitment and persevered to complete the award programme whilst at college. She has approached every challenge with natural enthusiasm and her infectious personality to have fun.

Her father added: "We’re immensely proud of her."

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