Alun Wyn receives his DofE gold award

Alun Wyn Jones enjoyed a brush with royalty this week when he was presented with his Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award personally by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in Cardiff


The British & Irish Lion received his award at a unique event celebrating the impact of the DofE in Wales, recognising their contribution to the development of young people through their investment in the DofE. It was also an opportunity to look to the future to see how the DofE in Wales can enable more young people from all of backgrounds to benefit from doing the DofE.

To achieve his Gold Alun Wyn Jones, has spent 12-18 months volunteering, learning a new skill, getting fitter, taking part in residential activity, and of course, doing an infamous expedition.

His expedition was four days and three nights – in an area completely remote from habitation – a real test of his initiative, leadership, teamwork and endurance skills. Alun Wyn completed his Gold DofE at Llandovery College.

Alun Wyn spoke at the event about the impact that doing his DofE has had on him with particular emphasis on his volunteering work helping young people with special needs.

Also speaking at the event was David Hawker, Director General Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, who spoke about the value of the DofE to the development of young people and how it can support the aspirations of the Welsh Assembly Governments Education and youth work policy.


"The event provided us with opportunities to thank our DofE partners from across Wales and also to highlight the deep and lasting impact that taking part in the DofE can have on a young person. Any young person can achieve a DofE Award and DofE groups can be found across Wales supporting participants from all backgrounds through their DofE experiences. We want more young people to be able to take advantage of the benefits of the DofE and this event will enable us to share our aspirations."

The DofE in Wales 2008/09

New participants 10,837

Awards gained 5,012 15% up on previous year

Approx 20,000 young people are participating in their DofE across Wales form all backgrounds.

Welsh Partners include;

22 Local Authority Partners

10 Independent Schools

7 Voluntary Youth Organisations




Youth charity The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award supports over 275,000 people aged 14-24 every year, including 30,000 from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our ethos is to enable every young person of every background to take part in our programmes and succeed, regardless of any barriers. We help instil a sense of adventure and have a lasting impact on young people’s behaviour, skills and life chances.


To inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements.


Anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of the three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold.

Stephanie Price, Director, The DofE Wales, said:


: undertaking service to individuals or the community.


: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.


: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.


At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth


Young people will achieve a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award if they show persistence, commitment and personal development over a period of time. Every activity must be successfully completed and assessed. The result is the world’s leading achievement award for young people, recognised by employers and universities alike.


DofE programmes are delivered under licence by over 400 partners (Operating Authorities) who offer it in over 10,000 DofE groups run in centres such as youth clubs, voluntary organisations, schools, colleges, Young Offender Institutes and businesses, which are run and supported by over 50,000 adult volunteers.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who remains the Patron. HRH The Earl of Wessex is a Trustee.

Last year, over 275,000 young people were taking part in DofE programmes in the UK. Over 30,000 of these young people were from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In total, over 4,235,000 people have participated in DofE programmes and gained over 1.76m Awards in the UK since 1956.

Over 168,117 young people started a DofE programme in the UK, a 4.3% increase on last year.

66,273 achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, up 2.5% on last year.

Through the volunteering part of their programme, young people give their free time to society with a value of over £13.5million per year.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a Registered Charity No 1072490.

Currently almost 7% of 14-17 year olds in the UK are taking part in over 10,000 DofE groups, run in youth clubs, voluntary organisations, schools, colleges, Young Offender Institutes and businesses.

In 1988 The International Award Association was established to co-ordinate and develop the DofE worldwide and, since 1956, over 6 million young people in over 123 countries have taken part.

Across the world, in total over 635,000 participants are doing DofE programmes at any one time.


: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad. Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home doing shared activity.