"The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is basically a do-it-yourself kit in the art of living."

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT

Prince Philip founded the Award in the United Kingdom in 1956, to support young people in the post-war era. With his inspiring former headmaster, Kurt Hahn, HRH developed a national programme to introduce young men to new interests and help them gain self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Four programme sections: Rescue and Public Service, Expeditions, Pursuits and Projects, and Fitness, were designed to support, guide and upskill. The pilot with national voluntary youth organisations was such a success that by the second year a programme for young women was set up.

The Award evolved over decades. In 1980 the age range was extended so that any young person aged 14 to 24 could take part and Award programmes took on their current four section format: Voluntary Service, Physical Recreation, Skills and the Adventurous Journey, with an additional Gold Residential section at Gold level.

The Award is part of the fabric of our society, in schools, colleges, universities, young offender institutions, youth groups and more. In the context of the pandemic, its need has never been greater, as young people face huge burdens and an uncertain future. Through the Award, young people from all backgrounds and circumstances will build the confidence, resilience and skills they need to navigate some of the toughest challenges any generation has had to face.

We are not limited by boundaries and are committed to making the Award available to 1% of the youth population by 2023, which is 7.9m young people. This represents a 600% growth on current participation numbers. It is our long term ambition that every eligible young person aged 14 – 24 will have the opportunity to participate in the Award. Our vision is that 20% of them are from at risk and marginalised communities for whom the Award can be truly life-changing.


countries and territories currently run the Award around the world.

of countries are currently running the Award.

More than 1 million young people

are currently striving to achieve their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards in more than 130 countries and territories.

Global achievements

In 2019 the total number of Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards achieved worldwide was:
*figures given to nearest thousand.


people have taken part internationally since 1956.


countries over 65 years.


young people take part across the globe.

+ volunteers

Current number of volunteers globally.






For Amiteshwar Palanivelrajan, from Chennai, India, the pandemic has sparked in him a desire to help the most vulnerable in s....

For two and a half years, Gold Award participant Lauren, from New Zealand, has been reading to Shirley Macdonald who is blind....

During the pandemic, he worked hard to provide stress relief for Covid-19 patients, through playing music for them in hospita....

The Award helped 14-year-old Ethan from the Bahamas see the bigger picture.