news 10 June 2021

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award launches its biggest-ever fundraising challenge to mark what would have been Duke’s 100th Birthday

Hannah Cockroft, JJ Chalmers and James McVey among the team captains for Do It 4 Youth.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is today launching Do It 4 Youth – a 4 part, 4-week DofE inspired sponsored challenge to raise money to support young people across the UK.

Hannah Cockroft, JJ Chalmers, James McVey, Alice Beer, Oliver Phelps, Matt Johnson, Johannes Radebe and Zoe Salmon are all taking part as team captains, encouraging us all to raise funds to help young people from the toughest backgrounds to build life-long belief in themselves through doing their DofE.

This summer the DofE is encouraging people to team up with friends, family and colleagues to complete 4 fun packed DofE inspired challenges in 4 weeks with the money raised supporting young people where it’s needed the most.

DO IT 4 YOUTH – 4 challenges. 4 weeks. All for youth

The 4 exciting DofE inspired challenges are: GET UP where you can choose a physical activity such as cycling, walking, running or climbing, SKILL UP where you can learn a new skill, FREE UP where you can give up something like junk food, sugar, meat or social media and HAND UP where you can lend a hand in your local community.

The fundraiser is backed by local well-known faces, or ‘DofE Team Captains’ and each captain is paired with a young DofE Award holder. Together they will encourage people in their regions or countries to take part in Do It 4 Youth. Every pound raised will help young people from the toughest backgrounds gain the confidence, skills and experience they need to overcome whatever life throws their way. £25 could provide an hour of mental health coaching and support for DofE participants who need it.

The DofE Team Captains include Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, The Vamps guitarist and ‘I’m a Celebrity’ star James McVey, journalist and broadcaster Alice Beer, TV presenters Matt Johnson and Zoe Salmon, Harry Potter star Oliver Phelps, TV presenter and Invictus medalist JJ Chalmers and TV dance star Johannes Radebe.

Ruth Marvel, CEO of the DofE, said: “After the year we’ve had Do It 4 Youth is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet face to face, have fun and reconnect after lockdown while raising vital funds to help young people build back after the pandemic.

“The last year of isolation has affected us all, especially young people. It is estimated one million young people could be locked out of education, employment and training as a result of the pandemic. The money raised from Do It 4 Youth will help more marginalised young people join the DofE, helping them build a lifelong belief in themselves to follow their passions, discover new talents and cope with what life throws at them in later life.”

James McVey, Captain for the South West, is kicking off his challenge by running a half marathon through the Dorset countryside. He said: “Every pound raised will go towards helping young people from the toughest backgrounds across the UK to build life-long belief in themselves through DofE.”

Captain for the North, Hannah Cockroft, is giving up late nights, improving her baking skills and encouraging her fellow team captain Ashley (14) from Salford to complete his challenge.

She said: “I’m from Halifax, so a proud Yorkshire woman. For millions of young people, including myself, doing the DofE is a totally life-changing experience. I learnt a level of independence and resilience without which I would not have had my level of sporting success. The money you raise will enable many more young people to begin their own adventure! That’s why I’m calling on my fellow Northerners to please join me to Do It 4 Youth!”

Ashley (14) DofE Co-Captain of The North, said: “I achieved my Bronze Award during lockdown. It really motivated me and it was fun. I volunteered at the local Veterans Garage working on the farm helping with gardening. I am going to keep volunteering there for #DoIt4Youth. My whole class are giving up mobile phones for a week which will be really hard and Hannah Cockroft has challenged me to bake a cake.”

Wales Captain, Matt Johnson, who will be learning the harmonica as his skills challenge, said: “The DofE has helped millions of young people to discover their talents, strengths, and abilities. Young people need our support more than ever in these challenging times. Lockdown has affected some young people’s mental health and the DofE can help to build confidence and resilience giving them the opportunity to make a positive impact. The money you raise will ensure that many more are able to reach their potential. So come on Wales, Do It 4 Youth!”

The challenge is open to anyone with any ability and is a chance for those who have never done DofE to get a taste of what it might be like. People can do it alone or as a team. They can pick their own start date from 10 June but must complete it within 4 weeks and by 30 September 2021. Everyone who raises £100 or more will receive their very own Do It 4 Youth commemorative pin kindly donated by NEXT plc, which can be worn to show support for young people across the UK and The Duke’s legacy.RSM are the official partner for Do It 4 Youth

To sign up to Do It 4 Youth visit

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