Through the Award young people from 14–24 years are set a series of personal challenges. By tackling the challenges they gain confidence, learn to work in teams and develop skills that are vital in work and life.
Recognised as the most successful youth achievement award in the world, the Award’s impact has been far-reaching. As well as helping young people develop as individuals and find work, it has helped charities find volunteers - and helped businesses to select people that are eager to succeed.
In 2016 over 130,000 people gained the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the United Kingdom and over 11,000 achieved Gold. Rebecca Roper received her Gold Award in 2011 and found, like many others, that it opened up new opportunities:
“I started the Bronze Award aged 15, completed Silver at 16 and got my Gold Award at 19. I was given the certificate at Kensington Palace after meeting Prince Philip. He made an effort to talk to all of us in the group, asking about our favourite parts of the award.
I enjoyed the camping and walking expeditions, as this was not something I grew up doing with my family. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award gave me the opportunity to be adventurous and explore these outdoor activities. I now regularly walk up mountains and peaks in the UK, knowing the views from the top are worth the physical strain in getting up there.
As part of the Award I volunteered as a netball coach for local schoolchildren. This gave me confidence in my abilities whilst also knowing I was helping girls develop a love for the sport.
Achieving the Gold Award helped me develop confidently as an individual, knowing I could tackle almost anything.”
Gold Award 2011