The Earl of Wessex was in Bristol on Wednesday where he visited Clifton College as part of a campaign to generate support for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Charity.
Through a combination of DofE engagements, Real Tennis events and fundraising activities Prince Edward will enable a new generation of young people to start their DofE journey in the UK and abroad.
During his visit to the college, The Queen’s son met head teachers and DofE Managers from schools across Bristol, as well as students from the College who are undertaking their Gold DofE programme. He also had a go at playing Real Tennis.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme was started by Prince Philip on 1 September 1956 and was for boys between 14 to 18. In the first year, about 7,000 boys went for one of the awards bronze, silver and gold that get progressively harder and more demanding. Over the sixty years since 1956, the award now encompasses boys and girls between 14 and 25 on broadly similar programmes. It is thought over 300,000 people across the world have benefited from the award.
For young people aged 14-24, doing a DofE programme offers a unique opportunity to grow as young adults and gain valuable life experience whilst developing essential employability skills such as confidence, resilience and drive.
Clifton College has been running the DofE for decades and places a high value on the opportunities it gives pupils in terms of independence, personal and social development.
Dr Tim Greene, Head of College said: “The DofE is hugely important to Clifton College so it was a pleasure to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex, and fellow schools engaged in the programme, to the College to highlight and celebrate the great benefits participation in the programme bring young people.
“We hope that HRH’s visit to Bristol will inspire more young people across the city to become involved with the DofE.”
Heather Thompson, DofE Director for the South West said: “As a DofE Charity Trustee and Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential, whatever their background or circumstance. We are grateful for his dedication to the Charity and taking on this fundraising initiative.
“HRH’s support, and the generosity of so many local partners, will help us extend our reach in the South West and work towards our ambition of all young people having the opportunity to do their DofE. The Earl’s enthusiasm for Real Tennis shows that the impact of a DofE Award really does last a lifetime.”
The Earl of Wessex has taken up much of his father’s duties in relation to the DofE award following Prince Philip’s retirement in 2017.