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Devonshire Freemasons contribute to large National donation to the DofE Award Scheme. HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Duke of Kent celebrate The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award donation at Freemasons’ Hall.

Duke of Edinburgh scheme receives £300k

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has celebrated the donation of £300k by the Masonic Charitable Foundation to The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) during an event at Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden on 8 March.
HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Duke of Kent attended the event.

More than 30,000 young people with disabilities and special educational needs (SEND) will be able to do their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, thanks to a three-year strategic partnership, which will donate a total of £300,000 from the Freemasons. To make this partnership with the DofE possible, the UGLE has teamed up with the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).

The MCF became a strategic partner of the DofE in 2021 and has funded a new national programme to upskill its team and volunteers. The programme also helps enrol more schools and clubs which support young people with SEND, to ensure all young people have access to the DofE.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip), who founded the DofE in 1956, was himself a Freemason and was initiated into Navy Lodge, No 2612 on 5 December 1952.

The ambition is to use the funds to increase the number of centres, such as schools and youth groups, offering DofE to young people with SEND and to train hundreds of Leaders who can support groups of young people through their DofE journeys.

Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire Freemasons, R. W. Bro Ian Kingsbury said:

“Here in Devon we see a large number of young people from all backgrounds doing some level of the DofE scheme, and it's proved such a great benefit going forward in life. We’re very happy to support it, and nationally this £300K will make a big difference.”

Caroline Glen, Director of Fundraising for the DofE, said:

“We’re very grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generous grant, which will give many thousands of young people with disabilities and special educational needs the chance to take part in the DofE and gain its life-changing benefits. This is a wonderful and very practical way to continue The Duke’s amazing legacy and to spread the benefits of the DofE further than ever before.”

The programme has been designed to make DofE participation possible for young people with additional needs. It will help young people build crucial life skills, develop employability skills and become more independent.

The impact of achieving a DofE Award is remarkable and often life-changing for young people with additional needs, who can be excluded from adventurous activities due to a lack of accessible equipment, facilities, trained support staff and funding.

Bro Alec Collyer MBE
Provincial Press Officer