Duke of Edinburgh’s Award calls for stories from those involved with charity

Sian Harrison, PA
·3-min read

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is calling for anyone who has been involved with the charity founded by Philip to share their stories.

In a statement following the announcement of the duke’s death, the charity invited volunteers and people who have completed the award to share memories at DofE.org – the charity’s website.

Ruth Marvel, chief executive officer of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) said: “The duke’s timeless vision for young people has never been more relevant or needed.

“The DofE has played a crucial role in supporting young people to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, and we will continue to build on his legacy.

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“The duke was a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual’s potential and creating in the DofE what he saw as a ‘do-it-yourself growing up kit’.

“We’re honoured to continue HRH’s work, to ensure that all young people – especially those from marginalised groups – can benefit from the better educational outcomes, employment prospects, community ties and better mental health that are associated with doing DofE.”

The DofE works with thousands of organisations across the UK to run the award scheme, including schools, academies, youth groups and voluntary organisations, fostering agencies, young offender institutions and hospitals.

In the UK, 6.7 million young people have taken on the challenge of a DofE Award to date.

One of the holders of a Gold Award, referred to on the charity’s website as Gemma, from Luton, said: “Doing my DofE has had a huge impact on my general wellbeing as it has shown me that no matter what life throws at me, I can do anything I set my mind to.

Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh accepting a Royal Charter from the Queen on behalf of his awards scheme (Fiona Hanson/PA)

“Even though I suffered many different challenges and setbacks along the way, I showed myself and others that no matter what mental health issues I face, it is possible to achieve anything I want. Even when others felt I would fail.”

The DofE in the UK is part of a global network of organisations that deliver the award.

John May, secretary general of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has transformed the lives of millions of young people around the world and has touched the lives of millions more through its impact on local communities.

“Through the personal leadership and involvement of our founder, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the award has spread to more than 130 countries and territories and remains as relevant today as it ever was.”

The DofE works with thousands of organisations across the UK to run the DofE, including schools, academies, youth groups, businesses, voluntary organisations, fostering agencies, young offender institutions and hospitals, enabling young people from all backgrounds and circumstances to enjoy and benefit from the challenge of taking on DofE.

The duke founded the award in 1956, inspired by his former headmaster at Gordonstoun, Dr Kurt Hahn.

He remained heavily involved with the charity, as chairman of trustees until his 80th birthday and was patron throughout his life.

Philip celebrated attending his 500th Gold Award presentation in the UK in 2013, and carried out engagements on behalf of the DofE until his retirement from public engagements in 2017.