HRH The Earl of Wessex, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Trustee and Gold Award holder, visited the Peak District National Park yesterday to walk the eight mile route from Edale to Hayfield with a group of young people and representatives from local organisations including RSM’s regional managing partner for the North West, Jill Jones.
The visit comes as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) celebrates its Diamond Anniversary this year, having helped to transform the lives of millions of young people in the UK and across the globe since it was founded in 1956.
To coincide with its 60th year, the Charity launched the DofE Diamond Challenge, a one-off initiative encouraging people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge and earn a limited-edition Diamond Challenge pin.
The Earl met 60 people undertaking their DofE Diamond Challenge as they walked from Edale to Hayfield, a route familiar to many DofE Award holders. Amongst those attending were representatives of local organisations including Moors for the Future, the National Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority. The group were joined by DofE participants, volunteers and existing Award holders, as well as corporate supporters of the Charity such as RSM.
As part of the Diamond Anniversary, The Earl of Wessex is travelling around the UK to help celebrate the invaluable work of DofE volunteers and the successes of DofE participants and alumni. HRH heard first-hand from participants on the walk about the difference the DofE is making to young people and their communities.
RSM is taking part in the Diamond Challenge this year and 800 RSM staff from across the UK have already signed up to take part in challenges including learning circus skills and riding the longest zip wire in Europe. In addition to the support for the DofE Diamond Challenge, in February RSM launched the Gold DofE Award for its own school leavers and graduates.
Jill Jones, RSM’s Regional Managing Partner for the North West, said:
‘It was fantastic to be involved in the Edale to Hayfield walk yesterday. Not only did it present a great opportunity to push ourselves to complete the challenging walk, but it was great to discuss the impact the DofE has on young people, businesses and the wider community.
‘We are delighted to continue our support of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and hundreds of our people have already signed up to take part in the DofE Diamond Challenge this year. Colleagues of all ages have risen to the challenge to accomplish a range of events across the UK to gain key skills, such as leadership, communication and confidence, which will help participants in their future careers and their everyday lives.’
Peter Westgarth, CEO of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award said:
‘As we celebrate 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, we want to recognise and thank our supporters in areas such as the Peak District National Park. Welcoming young people into these areas plays a huge role in helping them to learn about the fantastic countryside around us and build an appreciation of its importance.
‘For many young people being able to push yourself past boundaries and overcome challenges is an essential part of their personal development – inspiring confidence, skills and knowledge. That’s what the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is all about and, if you missed the chance when you were younger, our DofE Diamond Challenge is an opportunity for everyone to have a go at something new and raise some much needed funds for our charity.’
To find out more about the DofE Diamond Challenge and get involved visit: www.DofEDiamondChallenge.org
HRH The Earl of Wessex will be visiting a number of regions continuing his DofE Diamond Anniversary Tour of the UK until October.