Gold Award Presentation
Monday 16th May 2016
In the presence of
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT
HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO
And HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO
The biggest ever gathering of Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award winners filled the garden of Buckingham Palace yesterday, as part of the scheme’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
More than 1,000 young people were presented with their awards by around 60 celebrities including Anna Friel, Ben Cohen, Ronan Keating and Anton du Beke, who had all been drafted in to help Prince Philip and the Earl and Countess of Wessex hand out badges and certificates.
The Award started in 1956 to bridge the gap between boys leaving school and entering National Service and, since then, has grown into the world’s leading youth achievement award. This year, people who are older than the age limit of 24 are being encouraged to tackle a DofE-style challenge to raise money for the scheme.
Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people between the ages of 14-24, the DofE develops vital skills for life and for work, such as confidence, commitment, resilience and team work.
Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of the DofE Charity said: “What these young Gold Award holders have achieved is extraordinary. For a significant period of time they have given back to their communities, broadened their interests and equipped themselves with the attributes and skills that will open doors to opportunity and enable them to make the most of their lives. Our Diamond Anniversary has provided a great Royal occasion to celebrate their accomplishments and we wish them every success for the future.”
Currently, there are over 300,000 young people doing a DofE programme across the UK through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions, housing associations and youth groups.
To celebrate its 60th year, the Charity has launched the DofE Diamond Challenge. This one-off initiative allows people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge and earn their Diamond Pin. Signing up to The DofE Diamond Challenge has an amazing double benefit – whilst challenging yourself, pushing your boundaries, you’re also raising money for the DofE Charity so that it can transform the lives of more young people and offer free places and bursary grants to those most in need.