Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Empowering young people to learn new skills, overcome obstacles and build confidence and resilience.

One of the most outstanding aspects of our relationship with Pears Foundation is their personal engagement in our charity’s ambitions. They remain actively engaged with us, living through the ups and downs of our development and growth. Their commitment and understanding has built a strong sense of trust and mutual respect which has created a high level of confidence and ambition for our partnership. They are always keen to discuss how their support can continue to assist us in delivering our objectives.
Ruth Marvel, Chief Executive,
DofE is an embodiment of everything Pears Foundation believes in. By empowering young people to drive their own success and offering a focus for their endeavours, DofE is investing in their lives for the long term. What they learn here stays with them as they find their path in life, whether that's their education, their career or the community they live in. This is an investment in Britain's next generation, delivered at the right time and in the right way.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Partner since: 2003

Funding invested: £4.2million

  • Core: Unrestricted funding; policy officer
  • Project: Impact research; Community projects

Pears Foundation supports organisations that empower young people to develop their skills, improve their wellbeing and contribute to wider society. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) does this at national scale.

Since its establishment in 1956 the DofE has given millions of young people in Britain support and encouragement as they seek to improve their own lives and the lives of others in their community. Regardless of their background or the challenges they face in life, DofE helps them gain a sense of achievement and value through organised activities and expeditions, all leading up to a widely respected award, recognised by employers and universities.

The Award offers Bronze, Silver and Gold levels requiring varying degrees of participation and achievement across five sections:

  • The volunteering section encourages participants to make a real difference to other people’s lives.
  • The physical section focuses on long-term health and fitness, from dance to football and rock climbing.
  • The skills section helps people to discover what they’re passionate about and gives them an opportunity to develop skills that will benefit them in the workplace and beyond.
  • The expedition builds teamwork and leadership skills in a unique environment.
  • Gold award candidates have a chance to take their skills a stage further through residential programmes.

Pears Foundation has supported the DofE’s core work for almost two decades. Our relationship began with support for community projects to increase access to the Award. This led to our funding a major Impact Research study conducted by the University of Northampton and a post in the policy department. As the partnership developed we moved to unrestricted funding and have provided this consistently since 2010.

Pears Foundation also supports the International Award for young People in Israel and the the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.