Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

One of the most outstanding aspects of our relationship with Pears Foundation is their personal engagement in our charity’s ambitions. They remain actively engaged with us, living through the ups and downs of our development and growth. Their commitment and understanding has built a strong sense of trust and mutual respect which has created a high level of confidence and ambition for our partnership. They are always keen to discuss how their support can continue to assist us in delivering our objectives.
Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive, DofE
DofE is an embodiment of everything Pears Foundation believes in. By empowering young people to drive their own success and offering a focus for their endeavours, DofE is investing in their lives for the long term. What they learn here stays with them as they find their path in life, whether that's their education, their career or the community they live in. This is an investment in Britain's next generation, delivered at the right time and in the right way.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) has given millions of young people in Britain support and encouragement as they seek to improve their own lives and the lives of others in their community. Regardless of their background or the challenges they face in life, DofE helps them gain a sense of achievement and value through organised activities and expeditions, all leading up to a widely respected award, recognised by employers and universities.

Founded by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, the award scheme has continued to grow and evolve, maintaining its relevance and increasing its impact on the lives of young people. The Award offers Bronze, Silver and Gold levels requiring varying degrees of participation and achievement across five sections.

  • Volunteering: The Award encourages participants to make a real difference to other people's lives.
  • Physical: The physical section focuses on long-term health and fitness, from dance to football and rock climbing.
  • Skills: The skills section helps people to discover what they're passionate about and gives them a place to hone their skills in ways that will benefit them in the workplace and beyond.
  • Expedition: Unforgettable experiences and a chance to apply the skills they've learned, the expedition builds teamwork and leadership skills in a unique environment.
  • Residential: Boosting independence and confidence, residential programmes involve immersion in a new environment, giving Gold award candidates a chance to take their skills a stage further.

Pears Foundation has supported DofE with core funding and investment in specific projects, committing £2.3 million in over a decade of working together. The Foundation also provided a grant for large-scale independent research into the results of the programme, carried out by the University of Northampton, which confirmed the wide-ranging impact of the charity and its positive effects on the lives of young people.

The Foundation currently commits core funding, with a focus on improving the number of young people completing their full Award.

Pears Foundation also works with JLGB, the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade, to embed the DofE across the Jewish community.