Award founder

About the Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT in 1956, in conjunction with Kurt Hahn, the German educationalist. Both were concerned that young people’s development was lacking in certain key areas, and they resolved to create a programme that would support young people on the journey of self development as they find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meets young Award participants in the UK

The subsequent spread of the Award across the globe is testament to the universal appeal of the programme, and the vision of its founder. However, even HRH admits that this took him by surprise:

“When the first trial of the Award was launched in 1956, no one had any idea quite what would happen. In the event it was an instant success, and the Award has been growing and expanding worldwide ever since.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award became the leader programme for personal development and it is addressed to young people aged between 14 and 24 years. The worldwide expansion of the Award from the last 60 years has facilitated the access of a larger and larger number of young people – over 8 million youth from more than 130 countries and territories.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has remained committed to the Award, particularly in recognizing the achievements of Award participants and the adults who support them.

The 60th anniversary of the Award

“There is more in you than you think”

Over the last 60 years the Award has inspired millions of young people to transform their lives. In 2014 more than 1.1 million young people around the world took part in the Award, in 141 countries and territories, equipping them with skills for life.

To celebrate this exciting milestone we’ve joined up with members of our global Award family to tell the stories of the positive impact the Award has had on their lives. By producing a series of 60 second films (5 of them with Romanian Award participants, Leaders or Supervisors), we hope to inspire millions more people to get involved, either by doing the Award or becoming a volunteer.

After all, even 60 years down the line, to echo Kurt Hahn……there is still more in all of us than we think.