Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate 60 years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Westminster Abbey service sets DofE vision: Two million more young lives transformed by 2020

  • Special service at Westminster Abbey attended by Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex to mark The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s Diamond Anniversary.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Charity sets its vision for the future: to enable two million more young people across the UK, 400,000 from disadvantaged backgrounds, to do their DofE and better their life and work prospects.
  • Westminster Abbey held a special service today to mark 60 years since HRH The Duke of Edinburgh founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, now widely The DofE thanks its volunteers and partners, including schools, academies, youth groups, local authorities, young offender institutions and businesses, and calls on them to work with the Charity to increase opportunities for today’s young people and future generations.

During the service, which was attended by Royal Principals, high profile supporters of the Charity including adventurer Charley Boorman and presenter Phillip Schofield, DofE volunteers and Award holders, and corporate supporters, DofE Ambassador and impressionist, Jon Culshaw undertook a reading, as did the DofE’s Chief Executive, Peter Westgarth.

HRH The Earl of Wessex, a Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award UK and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, gave an address thanking all that have played a role in making the DofE such a success and whose continued support is central to the Charity reaching out to more young people in the future.

Hannah Cockcroft, five times Paralympic Gold medallist and DofE Bronze Award holder, spoke about her personal DofE experience and how it inspired her decorated athletic career.

Gold Award holder Thomas shared his story of achieving his DofE Awards in prison and talked about the transformational impact this achievement has had on his life.

Soprano Laura Wright joined the Westminster Abbey choir to sing Let the bright seraphim by Handel.

Muslim, Jewish and Hindu young Award holders delivered multi-faith prayers.

Peter Westgarth said: “As we reach the end of our Diamond Anniversary year our focus shifts to the DofE’s ambition to reach out to millions more young people in the future. With the incredible generosity of our volunteers, delivery partners and supporters we will work together to realise our Diamond Ambition; to enable two million more young people, 400,000 of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, to start their DofE in the UK by 2020.

 “We are grateful for our Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s unwavering support, the passion and dedication of TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex to the DofE cause and Her Majesty The Queen’s attendance at this extraordinary service today.”

 The DofE’s Diamond Anniversary celebrations included the launch of the Diamond Challenge, a fundraising challenge designed to give everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of the DofE, a special Gold Award Presentation held at Buckingham Palace for over 7,000 people and HRH The Earl of Wessex’s Royal Diamond Tour that saw HRH visiting towns and cities across the UK to raise awareness of the impact of the DofE on local communities.

Visit to support the Charity in the last month of its Diamond Anniversary year and for more general information about the DofE.


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