Two Scottish Adult Volunteers recently attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since HRH The Duke of Edinburgh founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Staff Sergeant Instructor Graeme Wells (24), 1st Battalion The Highlanders, and Under Officer Shaun Murphy (25), Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, were two of only fifteen Cadet Force Adult Volunteers who represented the Army Cadet Force (ACF) at the event.
The DofE is the UK’s leading youth achievement award, with over 300,000 young people taking part each year and 50,000 adult volunteers. The service, attended by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, was a celebration of the dedication and commitment shown by all involved in the DofE.
Both Graeme and Shaun are actively involved in the award within their battalions. SSI Wells is the DofE leader at Forres Detachment and AUO Murphy is the DofE convener for ACFA Scotland.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has had links with the Army Cadet Force since its inception in 1956, being one of the organisations selected to trial the award – a trial which still continues today – which saw the Army Cadet Force receive a special mention in the service. The service was attended by royal principals, high profile supporters including adventurer Charley Boorman, Paralympian Hannah Cockroft and impersonator Jon Culshaw, DofE volunteers and award holders from across the UK.
HRH The Earl of Wessex, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award UK Trustee and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, gave the address thanking all that have played a role in making the DofE such a success and whose continued support is central to the charity reaching out to more young people in the future.
DofE’s Chief Executive Peter Westgarth said: “As we reach the end of our Diamond Anniversary year our focus shifts to the DofE’s ambition to reach out to millions more young people in the future. With the incredible generosity of our volunteers, delivery partners and supporters we will work together to realise our Diamond Ambition; to enable two million more young people, 400,000 of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, to start their DofE in the UK by 2020. We are grateful for our patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s unwavering support and the passion and dedication of TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex to the DofE cause.”
Main picture: SSI Wells (rear row, far left) and UO Murphy (rear, 2nd right) with other ACF Representatives at Westminster Abbey.