Young Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award holders attend royal garden party

Published: 31 May 2023

Rob Clarke, Nick Spencer and Treeve White

Three young Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) holders from the Isle of Wight were over the moon to be invited to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace earlier this month.

Treeve White, Nick Spencer and Rob Clark, all of Newport Open Award Centre which operates from the Island Learning Centre, attended a celebratory event for young people, hosted by His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Also present were Natalie Woods, co-ordinator of Newport Open Award Centre and chair of the Isle of Wight Duke of Edinburgh's Award Charitable Association, and Terry and Sally Gaskin, representing the Isle of Wight College.

During the event, the palace garden was transformed into a festival-style celebration, with guests having the chance to hear from famous DofE Award holders and take part in a range of lawn games and activities.

There were also speeches on the West Terrace Steps from The Duke of Edinburgh, Jill Scott (captain of the England Lionesses) and Charlie Boorman (expeditionist and motorcycle rider, famed for riding around the world with Ewan McGregor), among others.

The Island youngsters really enjoyed themselves having spent many years achieving all three DofE Award levels — Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

This saw Rob Clark perform a live DJ set at the Bestival and Isle of Wight Festival for his skills section and all three being part of a team that successfully hiked across Dartmoor in the middle of a heatwave.

For more information about the DofE on the Island, please visit the Isle of Wight Council's website.

The DofE has had an encouraging year on the Island and nationally.

More than 323,000 young people started their DofE in 2022/23, the charity’s annual statistics reveal, with participants giving a huge 3.5 million hours of volunteering in communities all over the UK.

The record-breaking numbers, show that 537,759 young people are currently working towards their award across the UK – up more than ten per cent on 2021/22.

Ruth Marvel, chief executive of the DofE, said: “Young people are taking up the DofE in record numbers – showing they value opportunities like this more than ever.

"As they find themselves stuck between a brutal past few years and an uncertain future, chances to develop and grow outside the classroom are vital to help level the playing field and give them the skills and capabilities they need to succeed in future.

“Young people need our support more than ever if they’re going to have the same chances previous generations had – which is why we’re determined to keep breaking down barriers to participation and reaching as many young people as possible.”