The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) and Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award are delighted to announce that HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will be the charities’ new Patron.
The Duke takes on the patronages previously held by his father, Prince Philip, who founded the Award in 1956. He has been a passionate supporter of the DofE and International Award for decades, having achieved his own Gold Award in 1986.
The Duke has been a Trustee of the DofE since 1988 and of the International Award since 2006. In these roles, he has travelled widely within the UK and internationally – thanking volunteers and meeting and celebrating young people making a difference through their DofE.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh said: “Some say The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is in my DNA; it’s certainly been a major part of my life for a very long time. Being asked to take on the role of Patron after my father is a particular honour and quite a responsibility. Sustaining and enhancing what is arguably his greatest legacy around the world matters a great deal to me, as does pursuing The Award’s long-term ambition of universal access so that every eligible young person has the opportunity to participate. Above all, I hope to ensure The Award to which my father gave his title, those that achieve it, and those who deliver it continue to enjoy the recognition they so richly deserve.”
Ruth Marvel, CEO of the DofE, said: “It’s fantastic that The Duke is to become the DofE’s Patron, at a time when young people need our support more than ever. He has played an active role in our charity for many years – meeting young people from all over the UK to hear about the difference they’re making in their communities, and the impact their DofE has had on them.
“The Duke shares our belief that opportunities for enrichment and personal development – like the DofE – should be available to all young people, so they can develop the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in an uncertain world. We look forward to working with The Duke to give even more young people the life-changing chance to do their DofE in these crucial coming years.”
Stephen Peck, Interim Secretary General and Chief Operating Officer of the International Award, said: “We are delighted by the news of The Duke’s patronage. He has always been exceptionally dedicated to the Award; a champion of non-formal education and how it can make a life changing impact to young people all over the world.
Like our Founder, The Duke believes in the potential of young people and the power they have to create a bright future for themselves and make a difference in their communities. On behalf of the 130+ countries delivering the Award, we are excited to continue working closely with The Duke as the Award continues to reach more young people around the world.”
East Midlands visit
To mark the announcement, The Duke will visit the East Midlands on Tuesday, where he will meet young people in Derby and Nottingham who are making a difference to their communities, workplace and futures through their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Duke will meet young DofE volunteers at a Nottingham city farm, and participants boosting their careers through DofE Business at Balfour Beatty’s national hub in Derby. The Duke will also visit Portland College in Mansfield, a residential education and therapy college for young people with disabilities, where DofE is included as part of the college curriculum.
The visit will celebrate the amazing commitment and passion of DofE volunteers and highlight the charity’s work to break down barriers for young people from marginalised communities, from deprived areas, or who require specialist support to do their DofE.
Needed more than ever
The DofE is a non-competitive, personal challenge, which gives all young people aged 14-24 the chance to follow their passions, discover new talents and build resilience and self-belief. It is run in schools, colleges, clubs and community organisations, hospitals and prisons, in more than 130 countries.
The Duke becomes Patron of the DofE and International Award as young people across the world face an uncertain and challenging future. Having been among the hardest hit by the pandemic’s impacts, they are coping with the effects of lost education and record levels of mental ill-health while negotiating soaring living costs.
Under his patronage, the DofE and International Award will continue its work to give as many young people as possible the life-changing chance to do their DofE – expanding its reach across the UK and internationally into the most deprived areas, and working to remove barriers for marginalised young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities and those in prison and young offender institutions.