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The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charity celebrates Diamond Anniversary at Buckingham Palace

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charity celebrates Diamond Anniversary at Buckingham Palace

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) held a very special Gold Award Presentation in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on Monday 16th May, one of the highlight events of the DofE’s Diamond Anniversary year, marking 60 years since HRH The Duke of Edinburgh founded what has become the world’s leading achievement award.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron of the DofE, HRH The Earl of Wessex, Trustee of the DofE, and HRH The Countess of Wessex, Global Ambassador for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, welcomed 7,000 people into the garden of the Palace including:

  • Around 1,000 young people receiving their Gold Awards, 44 from 26 countries worldwide
  • Representatives from around 1,500 organisations licensed to run the DofE throughout the UK including schools, colleges, young offender institutions and housing associations
  • DofE Diamond Challengers, people who have taken on a personal challenge to raise at least £60 for the DofE Charity throughout its anniversary year
  • Around 300 DofE volunteers that give up their time to support DofE groups
  • DofE supporters such as businesses, individuals and trusts that financially support the DofE Charity.

Over 50 high profile presenters were also on hand to congratulate young people on their Gold Award success and thank DofE Licensed Organisations for empowering their young people with the attitude and skills to succeed in life and work, through their DofE delivery. Presenters included adventurers Ray Mears and Levison Wood, actress Anna Friel, singer Ronan Keating, astronaut Chris Hadfield and world record-breakers, the Coxless Crew, the first all-female team and the first team of four to row the Pacific.

Five members of the Crew; Laura Penhaul, Natalia Cohen, Emma Mitchell, Meg Dyos and Isabel Burnham, brought along their pink boat Doris and shared stories of resilience, team-working and determination from their 257-day rowing expedition completed this January; attributes that the young Award holders could relate to following their DofE experience.

All attending were encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones once more in 2016 and take on the DofE Diamond Challenge; a year-long fundraising activity designed to give everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of the DofE through setting and achieving a personal challenge, whilst raising money so that the Charity can support even more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of the DofE, said: “Our Diamond Anniversary is a remarkable milestone, an opportunity to reflect on the millions of young people’s lives that have been transformed by doing their DofE since 1956 and to affirm our ambition to involve millions more in the future.

 “We know that achieving a DofE Award changes lives; opening doors to employment and education; enabling young people to build strong relationships; and introducing them to a broad range of interests. The Gold Award achievers collecting their certificates today are testament to that. We want every young person to have this opportunity and have set a Diamond Ambition, for two million more young people, 400,000 of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, to start their DofE in the UK by 2020.

 “We are grateful to the thousands of organisations and amazing volunteers running the DofE that will make this possible.”

Visit www.DofE.org for more information about the DofE, and to find out how you can support the Charity in its Diamond Anniversary year, go to www.DofEDiamondChallenge.org.

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