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Earl of Wessex celebrates Diamond Anniversary of Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Earl of Wessex traveled to Hovertravel on Friday to celebrate the Diamond anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, (DofE) and to see firsthand how it is changing the lives of young people on the Isle of Wight.

The Earl, a Gold Award recipient himself, met with headteachers from Isle of Wight and Portsmouth schools in Hovertravel’s boardroom to discuss key issues affecting young people in the region. During the meeting, the royal heard how the DofE award scheme is supporting young people access local activities and initiatives, along with tackling isolation issues and high levels of deprivation.

The Award is celebrating its Diamond anniversary this year, having transformed millions of lives since the Earl’s father, Prince Philip, founded the charity in 1956. Having taken a major role in the scheme as a Trustee, the Earl has championed the cause for many years. As part of the Diamond Anniversary celebrations, he is travelling around the UK to help celebrate the hard work of DofE Volunteers and the successes of the scheme’s participants. The tour will take him to many regions throughout the UK and will last until October.

Speaking of the Isle of Wight’s involvement with the charity’s anniversary, the managing director of Hovertravel Neil Chapman, said: “We are strong supporters of the DofE for the local community and we welcome visits from young people as they complete their challenges.”

“Hosting the Charity during their diamond anniversary year is a special privilege for us and we want the visit to raise awareness of its good work across the Island.”

Undertaking a DofE Award gives 14 to 24-year-olds an opportunity to gain valuable life experience while developing employability skills by setting their own challenges and learning practical skills helps to prepare each individual for the world of work.

In a one-off initiative for 2016 however, the charity is encouraging people of all ages to set and achieve their goals through the DofE Diamond Challenge.The Challenge is inspired by the DofE Award and asks people to take on their own adventure, personal or skill challenge. The challenge can be as big or as small as you like, from skydiving from a place to learning to knit.

For more information on the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s 60th anniversary or to sign up to the Diamond Challenge, visit the scheme’s website.

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