Royal visit for Downton Army Cadets to celebrate the success of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

28 April 2016

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited Downton detachment today to see first-hand the difference The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has made to the cadets and their communities in Wiltshire.

The DofE Award is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary this year, having helped to transform the lives of millions of young people in the UK and across the globe since it was founded in 1956.

Within Wiltshire, the Army Cadets has 150 cadets undertaking their Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold level, supported by 20 volunteer DofE Leaders who are also ACF volunteer instructors. The DofE has a longstanding relationship with the cadet forces, and its Award partnership with the Army Cadets has been in place over the 60 year history of the programme.

Lucy Welch, the ACF’s DofE Development Manager, comments:

“Last year over 2,100 young people completed a DofE award with the ACF, with 180 going on to achieve the Gold Award. All of the cadets who took part benefited by developing their confidence and self-belief and gaining valuable leadership and team working skills. Getting a DofE Award is of huge practical benefit for our cadets, giving them something that is recognised and valued by employers and course leaders in the UK and around the world.”

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, The Earl of Wessex is travelling around the UK to help celebrate the hard work of DofE Volunteers and the successes of DofE participants.

Peter Westgarth, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award adds:

“As we celebrate 60 years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, it’s clear that the Charity is an integral part of cadet life here in Wiltshire and around the UK. The Award plays an invaluable role in the development of thousands of ACF cadets and adult volunteers in the community. It’s fantastic to see Downton detachment being recognised for the outstanding work it does and enormous thanks must be given to the ACF volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that every DofE participant makes the most of this wonderful opportunity.”

HRH The Earl of Wessex will be visiting a number of regions continuing his DofE Diamond Anniversary Tour of the UK until October.

To find out more about the DofE Diamond Challenge, please visit