The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will expand its reach to up to 291 more schools not currently delivering DofE, in the most deprived areas of England, thanks to £3.4 million funding boost from the Department for Education announced today.
The investment, which will made over the next three years, means thousands more young people aged between 14 and 24-years-old will be able to benefit from doing their DofE, giving them opportunities to explore different interests, challenge themselves, learn new skills, develop resilience and build self-belief.
The injection of money comes at the end of the week that would have marked The Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday. The funding will support the charity’s aim to build on The Duke’s legacy by reaching one million more young people over the next five years.
Ruth Marvel, CEO of the DofE, said:
“I am so pleased to be working with the Department for Education to give more young people access to the life-changing opportunities The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award offers. This investment will make a huge impact on our ability to partner with new schools and reach thousands more young people with the DofE, particularly those living in areas of greatest deprivation. As we mark what would have been The Duke of Edinburgh’s centenary this week, expanding access to the Award that he founded is a truly fitting tribute to his legacy.
“As young people face up to today’s myriad challenges, the DofE has never been more needed. It’s a powerful way for any young person to build life-long belief in themselves, whatever their interest, background or ability. It can help them to do better in education, improve their mental health, help get the job they want, and make a positive difference in their community.”
The DofE is offered in nearly three-quarters of English state schools, as well other groups and organisations, including youth and sports clubs, young offenders’ institutions, and schools for special educational needs. But, with so many young people affected by the pandemic, the charity wants to reach out more widely so more young people can access the opportunities it offers, regardless of their circumstances.
Over the next five years, the DofE plans to work with more partners and provide targeted funding or specialist support, so more young people can take part. Work is also underway to expand the programme so that it appeals to a broader range of young people, to champion young people’s interests by working with relevant organisations and to provide young people with a platform so that their voices are heard. Earlier this week, the DofE launched a Youth Manifesto with young people to outline the issues that matter most to them and what they think needs to be done to address them.