The Office of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award stands in Madeira Walk. This is the regional office for the charity in the South East of England. Prince Philip launched his award scheme in 1956 in order to cope with ‘the increasing need to provide further opportunities for young people to achieve a balanced development of their character.’ The scheme has now been adopted in 140 countries. The awards are given to adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 who have completed various self-improvement exercises. Today some 300,000 people take part in the United Kingdom, variously achieving bronze, silver or gold medals. Winners at the gold level are received at a reception in St James’s Palace. When possible, The Duke of Edinburgh attends these occasions to congratulate the winners in person. The scheme developed from Kurt Hahn’s solution to the problem of the Six Declines of Modern Youth. It was designed by John Hunt (later Lord Hunt, KG), the first Director. In 1992 The Earl of Wessex became Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award International Council. In 1992 the Earl of Wessex became Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award International Council.
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