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HRH The Earl of Wessex visits Derbyshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 July 2016

HRH The Earl of Wessex with DFS Upholstery and Service Manager apprentices, Ian Filby and DFS Training Manager Rachel Bamford with the Diamond Chairs certificate of authenticity

HRH The Earl of Wessex with DFS Upholstery and Service Manager apprentices, Ian Filby and DFS Training Manager Rachel Bamford with the Diamond Chairs certificate of authenticity

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HRH The Earl of Wessex met with volunteers and local supporters in Derbyshire to see the difference The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award makes to young people and communities

HRH The Earl of Wessex met with volunteers and local supporters in the Peak District to see first-hand the difference The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) makes to young people and communities. The charity is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary this year. After trekking the first 11 kilometres of the Pennine Way over Kinder Scout from Edale, accompanied by around 70 recipients of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, The Earl attended a reception for 150 guests hosted by Sir Hugh and Lady Sykes, supporters of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charity, at their home, Brookfield Manor in Hathersage.

To celebrate its anniversary the charity has launched the DofE Diamond Challenge – a one-off initiative that allows people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge and earn a limited-edition DofE Diamond Challenge pin. As a Trustee and a Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex has championed the DofE for many years. As part of the Diamond Anniversary, he is travelling around the UK to help celebrate the hard work of DofE Volunteers, the successes of DofE participants, and he will also be joining participants as they undertake their own DofE Diamond Challenges.

Peter Westgarth, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award commented: ‘For many young people being able to push yourself past boundaries and overcome challenges is an essential part of their personal development – inspiring confidence, skills and knowledge. That’s what The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is all about and, if you missed the chance when you were younger, our DofE Diamond Challenge is an opportunity for everyone to have a go at something new and raise some much needed funds for our charity.’

On the following day HRH The Earl of Wessex visited DFS’ Lincoln House Factory at Somercotes to meet ten upholstery apprentices, who are currently undertaking the DofE Gold Award, completing the making of six Diamond Challenge Armchairs which are to be auctioned in support of the DofE Award.

DFS has been supporting the Award for the last 20 years. DFS’s chief executive, Ian Filby, said: ‘We’re very proud of the fact that we’re teaching the next generation the skills of upholstery. These young people will be the craftsmen and women of the future and, along with the technical skills they learn on the course, the DofE’s Gold Award is helping them to develop self-confidence, self-reliance and leadership skills. To have HRH The Earl of Wessex visit our factories and recognise the achievements of our apprentices as part of the Diamond Anniversary celebrations is a real honour.’ To find out more about The DofE Diamond Challenge and get involved visit: www.DofEDiamondChallenge.org

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