Students in Nottingham who have earned the Duke of Edinburgh award have paid tribute to Prince Philip following his death on Friday (April 9).
The Queen’s husband died aged 99 on Friday morning just two months before his 100th birthday.
He spent his final days at Windsor Castle with the Queen, who he had been married to for 73 years, after spending a month in hospital in March.
One of the Duke’s many roles was as founder of the popular Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award scheme – a programme designed to help young people aged 14 to 24 gain essential skills, experience, confidence and resilience to successfully navigate adult life.
Between April 2019 and March 2020, a record number of 295,450 people started their DofE journey.
Peter White, a wildlife conservation student who earned both Bronze and Silver levels, said he felt “ever more grateful” of the scheme pioneered by the duke.
He added: “The DofE award appreciates the physical and voluntary skills of young people and thanks to Prince Philip, I would not have taken part in my personal development, community involvement and adventure in the environment.
“The award helped me achieve my place at NTU, improve skills in my outdoor work experience and it continues to do so.”
Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award said: “The Duke’s timeless vision for young people has never been more relevant or needed. The DofE has played a crucial role in supporting young people to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, and we will continue to build on his legacy.
“The Duke was a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual’s potential and creating in the DofE what he saw as a ‘do-it-yourself growing up kit’.”
Kit O’Callaghan, a broadcast journalism student who achieved the bronze award and now helps others on their DofE journey, paid his tributes to Prince Philip.
He said: “The Duke of Edinburgh award has been a big part of my life since I got the Bronze award while in Year 9 at secondary school.
“I have helped to run many bronze awards seeing the joy and excitement that the award brings to so many people, myself included, has been incredible.
“Completing the award can be the first time someone really pushes themselves and learns to read a map or even cook themselves breakfast in a Trangia.
“It’s the first step for people on a journey to learn new skills and develop into a better person.”
By Matt Lee
Lead Image: Wikimedia Commons (inset: Kit O’Callaghan and Peter White)