Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme
Adventures for young people aged from 14 to 24 are not easy to come by these days. Shortage of funds and increasing legislation, particularly in the health and safety environment, often serve to frustrate the efforts of students and organisers alike.
One organisation that has overcome these hurdles and still offers youngsters the opportunity for adventure is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme (DofE). It has benefited over 5 million young people in the UK since its inception in 1956 and currently there are over 300,000 young people participating each year.
When participants successfully complete their Gold Award, they are invited to a Royal palace to receive their certificate in the presence of a member of the royal family; either the patron himself, HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, or HRH the Earl of Wessex, a trustee of his father’s Charity. The physical presentation of the certificates is carried out by invited special guests that the Charity considers to be appropriate role models. I feel honoured to be such a role model and am delighted to regularly attend in order to meet these exceptional young people.
I appeal to all parents to encourage their children to take part in a DofE programme which will genuinely help them prepare for adult life, at the same time as stretching themselves physically, mentally and emotionally, and having a lot of fun. It is also great on their CV as the Award is seen as a mark of excellence by employers and universities alike.
There are also many adult volunteering opportunities within local communities, which support young people participating in their Award.
To find out more about participating and volunteering, visit the DofE website http://www.dofe.org/.