Joan M. Benham

My late husband, Derek J.Benham, became a Member of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in 1997 and then a World Fellow in 2007. At our first encounter with the Duke at the annual dinner, he spoke to Derek of personal details he learned about my husband at their first meeting. The Duke's ability to connect with Derek and so many others was exceptional given he had met tens of thousands of people in his lifetime. I believe it shows the Duke's great humanity and sincere interest in people.

At each annual dinner the Duke took the podium and spoke without notes about why he set up the Awards and what they meant to all of the young people they reached. The Duke's enthusiasm and dedication to help so many others inspired us at each encounter and now, I too, am a World Fellow.