'I will be forever grateful': LBC listeners praise impact of Duke of Edinburgh's Award

9 April 2021, 18:06 | Updated: 10 April 2021, 00:45

Listeners explain how the Duke of Edinburgh awards helped them

By Patrick Grafton-Green

LBC listeners have praised the impact of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme on their lives following Prince Philip’s death aged 99.

The duke founded the award 65 years ago and since then it has helped millions of young people.

People aged 14 to 24 across the world can compete for bronze, silver and gold awards.

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LBC presenter Eddie Mair said “many people” described the award scheme as “one of his most significant contributions to our national life”.

He read out messages from listeners describing what taking part had meant to them and their children.

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One said Philip had turned her “profoundly blind” son “into a strong young man with self-achievement and great resilience.”

“For that I will be forever grateful,” she added.

She said: “My son is 16 and has recently achieved a Duke of Edinburgh silver award following his bronze.

“What’s lovely about the DoE award is that anyone can achieve it, none more so than my son who is profoundly blind from birth.

Members of the public react to the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

“Doing the two awards brought him so much self-belief and mental strength. It taught him determination and integrity. The awards made my son push his boundaries, allow him to know he can succeed and to never give up. Effort and hard work will be recognised.”

Caz in Windsor described the award as “genuinely a highlight of my young life”, while Sarah in Reading added: “I have never forgotten the friendships I formed or the opportunities it opened up, it is a fantastic programme.”

Another listener, Tony, said: “Taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award back in the 80s taught me there was a world outside my small town, it opened my horizons, thank you.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier: “With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, added: “The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which he founded in 1956, has inspired generations of young people to help others and instilled in them a vision for citizenship and a desire to serve their communities.”