Deb Dowdall

The Duke of Edinburgh was an active Patron of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award when I started working for his charity in 1978, which has been such fun that I’ve never left. He continued to be actively involved for the next 38 years, and was chair of the charity’s Trustees until he turned 70 in 1991. He was one of the best chairs of meetings I’ve ever come across: clear, incisive, giving time for points to be made and deflecting those who would have slowed or hijacked the agenda. I learned a lot from this, and I hope his example made me a better Chair on the committees I’ve had to lead in charities myself. He never failed to listen to and encourage the young people I saw him meet at Gold Award presentations and Royal Visits. He had a keen eye for detail and several times received the bar of chocolate I used to send as a reward for pointing out typographical errors in publications. He will be much missed. I’m not actually in this picture, although it may be my sleeve in the bottom right corner. Early in 1982, the National Golds Working Party presented HRH with five bound volumes of signatures of Award holders, collected throughout the UK during the 25th Anniversary year - 1981