500th Gold Award Presentation


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award celebrated Prince Philip’s 500th Gold Award Presentation on Thursday 10 October 2013.

The Duke has presented Gold Awards to over 200,000 young people since he founded the programme in 1956.

To mark The Duke’s outstanding dedication to his namesake Charity, of which he remains the Patron, seven decades of Award achievers joined Prince Philip ahead of the Presentation and shared their stories of the impact their DofE Award has had on their lives, their employment opportunities and the valuable skills they gained.

Since The Duke of Edinburgh founded the Charity in 1956, over five million young people in the UK from all backgrounds have taken part in a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE programme. Today’s DofE participants come from all walks of life yet they each follow the same programme set by The Duke over fifty years ago.

Among those invited to the Palace to celebrate The Duke’s 500th Gold Award Presentation is Tony Mullins from Birmingham, one of the first Gold Award achievers, who will be joined by his daughter, a fellow Gold Award holder, and grandson who is currently working towards his Award. Also meeting The Duke will be Jay Passmore, who did his Gold Award while in care and foster care, as well as DofE Award holder, Hannah Cockcroft MBE, a 2012 double Paralympic Gold Medal winner. More information on each of the Award holders is included below.

Through a unique programme of personal development, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award helps young people to acquire essential life skills which will help them in their social and working lives.

In order to get to Gold, each participant must dedicate time to meet a diverse range of challenges for a period of at least 18 months, working through the five sections of the Award programme: Volunteering, Physical activity, Skills, Expedition and Residential.

Peter Westgarth, CEO at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award said:
“Prince Philip’s tireless dedication to the development of young people and to the DofE Charity is amazing, we are honoured to be able to mark this special occasion and reflect upon the impact The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has had upon young people’s lives for over fifty years.

It was always Prince Philip’s aim to ensure that any young person who achieved their Gold Award should be presented with their certificate in a Royal Palace and in the presence of a member of the Royal Family.”

Jay Passmore, a Gold DofE Award holder, who started his DofE while in care and foster care and who has now qualified as a DofE Leader and works for Devon Social Services, working with children and young people in care, said:
“I’ve gained amazing experiences through my DofE, building new friendships and developing new skills while having an incredible time in the process. The Volunteering section helped me to find work, in fact, I got my current job solely because I did my DofE; it has completely changed my life.”

See the BBC News item here.


The past Award holders in attendance were:

1950s – Tony Mullins
One of the first to complete their Gold Award, and was presented with his Award at the first Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace in 1958.

1960s- René Dee
René Dee from Brighton achieved his Gold Award while serving at Tonfanau Army Camp as a boy soldier in the 1960s. He received his Gold Award from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1964.

1970’s – Steve Campbell
Steve, from Peckham, completed his Gold in the 1970’s and went on the 1980 International Gold Award Event in Australia, did a degree in engineering and now works as an IT trainer.

1980s – Karen Watson
Karen is Tony’s daughter and one half of the first father-daughter Gold Award holder duo. Karen, who lives in Birmingham, achieved her Gold Award in 1982 and has gone on to become a GP. Her son Jamie is now working towards his Gold Award after completing Bronze and Silver with Karen’s encouragement.

1990s – Debra Searle (also a DofE Trustee)
Debra is a Gold Award holder, Adventurer and explore, and has just been a Trustee of the DofE for 10 years.

2000s – Hannah Cockcroft MBE
Hannah is a Bronze Award holder and Double Paralympic Gold Medal winner at the London 2012 Games.

2010s – Jay Passmore
Jay did his Gold while in care and foster care. He now works for Devon Social Services, and has qualified as a DofE Leader, working with children and young people in care.

Future- Jamie Watson
Bronze and Silver Award holder Jamie is 17 years old, the grandson of Tony, son of Karen and is currently working towards his Gold Award. Jamie lives in Birmingham with Karen.

A group of the first Gold Award holders in 1958.


On 9 October, Prince Philip opened the DofE London’s new offices in Victoria after major refurbishment by Brookfield Mulitplex and met with supporters of his Charity.


For further information please contact:

Fiona Bean
PR and Communications Executive
The DofE
E: [email protected]
T: 01753 727472
M: 07741249489

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