"The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is basically a do-it-yourself kit in the art of living."

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT

HRH Prince Philip founded the DofE in 1956 to support young people in the post-war era. With his inspiring former headmaster, Kurt Hahn, HRH developed a national programme to introduce young men to new interests and help them gain self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Four programme sections: Rescue and Public Service, Expeditions, Pursuits and Projects, and Fitness, were designed to support, guide and upskill. The pilot with national voluntary youth organisations was such a success that by the second year a programme for young women was set up.

The DofE evolved over decades. In 1980 the age range was extended so that any young person aged 14 to 24 could take part and DofE programmes took on their current four section format: Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition, with an additional Residential section at Gold.

Today, over 490,000 young people are doing their DofE across the UK and over 295,000 start a programme each year, 25% of whom experience social and economic marginalisation and barriers to participation. The DofE is part of the fabric of our society, in schools, colleges, unis, young offender institutions, youth groups and more. As we rebuild after the Covid-19 pandemic the need for DofE has never been greater. Through DofE, young people from all backgrounds and circumstances can build the self-belief, resilience and skills they need to navigate some of the toughest challenges any generation has had to face and meet an uncertain future with confidence.

Over 490,000 young people

are taking part in the DofE through over 3,900 licensed partner organisations.

come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Around 40,000 adults

are involved as volunteers, Leaders and managers, helping young people to achieve their DofE Award.

Achievements recognised

Last year, we had another amazing year with huge numbers of Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE Awards achieved.


people have taken part in the UK since 1956.


countries and territories run the DofE.


young people take part across the globe.

+ volunteers

Current number of volunteers globally.

Photo of Carl in his vis jacket
Mohammad DofE Case Study
Nancy's DofE Case Story






Read how a former young offender turned his life around through his DofE programme.

Read how the DofE gave five times Paralympic Gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft MBE her gateway to freedom and confidence.

When the pandemic hit, Carl volunteered at a relief hub in Newham, to help the most vulnerable in his community.

Mohammad came to the UK from Syria as a refugee and started his DofE journey. See how the DofE impacted his life.

Nancy grew up in Peckham, the only girl among five boys. Watch how the DofE helped her in her career.