Duke of Edinburgh Leaders Recognised at Long-Service AwardsOver 40 Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) leaders and volunteers from across Hampshire were presented with Long Service Awards at a special awards ceremony celebrating service lengths ranging from 10 to 46 years.

Organised by the DofE team (part of the Hampshire Futures service at Hampshire County Council), as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Anniversary celebrations, the Awards pay tribute to the county’s dedicated DofE leaders and volunteers celebrating 10 years or more service. Together, the award winners have given almost 700 years’ service.

The Long Service certificates were presented by Nigel Atkinson Esq, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and the President of The DofE Award in Hampshire. The Lord-Lieutenant praised the volunteers for their ‘commitment to the DofE Award in Hampshire – making a difference to the lives of young people undertaking the award, and their communities.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, commented: “We are really pleased to be able to recognise the volunteers and leaders’ contribution to the DofE Award in Hampshire. Their support and encouragement has enriched the lives of thousands of young people participating in the award over the years and we are particularly grateful as they give their time freely as volunteers.”

In addition to individuals who have received their DofE Award, a number of honoured guests were also present to offer their gratitude to the long-serving volunteers, for their work. These included: the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Deputy Leader, Councillor Keith Mans, the Chairman of the County Council, Councillor Jonathan Glen and the Regional Director of DofE, Christian Scott.

The Duke of Edinburgh Awards are a nationwide leading achievement award, requiring participants to spend time volunteering, learning or improving a skill, taking part in a physical activity and undertaking an expedition with a group of friends. Completion opens doors to new jobs, cements life-long friendships, broadens interests and stretches horizons.

The Awards ceremony took place in Ashburton Hall in Winchester and musical accompaniment was provided by The Mountbatten School Brass Band.

To find out more about becoming a DofE volunteer, or participating in the Diamond Challenge, see information online: www.hants.gov.uk/dofe-homepage.

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