Published 26 May 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh has hosted a reception at Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland, to celebrate those who have achieved The Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award.

Founded by The Duke in 1956, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is the world's leading youth achievement award that develops over 400,000 young people for life and work every year in the UK.

At the Hillsborough Castle reception The Duke met a number of young people and heard about their journey to achieve the Gold Award, which takes a minimum of 12 months.

The Duke of Edinburgh hosts a Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award reception at Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland

Participants must be successful in five areas to achieve the Gold Award.

  • Volunteering – service to others or the community
  • Physical – achieve a certain standard of health and fitness
  • Skills – develop practical skills and nurture personal interests and talents
  • Expeditions – execution of an outdoor challenge
  • Residential – undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home

Earlier in the week The Duke, DofE Patron, hosted a Gold Award Reception at Buckingham Palace.

His Royal Highness was accompanied by The Earl of Wessex, DofE Trustee, and The Countess of Wessex who last year completed a 450 mile cycling challenge to celebrate DofE Awards 60th anniversary.

In total, over six million people have participated in DofE programmes in the UK and achieved over 2.7 million Awards since 1956.

You can find out more about the awards here.