The Duke of EdinburghThe Wessexes

The Duke of Edinburgh award celebrates its 60th anniversary with its namesake

During his recent trip to Scotland with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh found time to join in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the award that bears his name. Prince Philip, who is patron of the organisation met and chatted with some Gold Award winners and also staff from the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in Scotland.

Barry Fisher, who is Director of the DofE in Scotland welcomed the Prince and said “For many young people being able to push yourself past boundaries and overcome challenges is an essential part of personal development – inspiring confidence, skills and knowledge. That’s what The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is all about.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme was started by the Duke 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, although it has many different names to make it appropriate for the country in question.

However, for those of us over 25-years-old, there is a special award for the Diamond Jubilee, the Diamond Challenge. This is a one-off initiative for people of all ages, to leave their comfort zone behind fulfil a challenge that they have always wanted to do and raise £60 through sponsorship for the DofE. Whether it is parachuting from a mile high or speaking mandarin – you set your goal. Speaking of setting goals, the Countess of Wessex has one! She is going to cycle from the Palace of Holyrood House to Buckingham Palace 445 miles in seven days during September to raise money for the scheme. Watch out on Royal Central for coverage of her journey!