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UoP student Edward Fox celebrates achieving DofE Gold Award at Buckingham Palace

Written by: UPSU

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Edward Fox, third year student of Applied Biomedical Science and current Treasurer of the University of Plymouth Golf Club, recently travelled to London to attend the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award celebration event at Buckingham Palace Garden, chaired by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

Edward shared with the SU about his experience partaking in The Duke of Edinburgh, his commitment to achieving his Gold Award, and the positive impact taking part in the youth awards programme has already had on him and will continue to have for his future.


The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) scheme is an incredible opportunity for any young person to experience new things, make friends, and a great tool to develop a variety of skills. Any young person can do their DofE regardless of their background, location, or abilities. Receiving an Award is considered a personal achievement and not about a competition. 

A Gold DofE Award is a major achievement for a young individual, providing a host of transferable skills such as communication, diligence, teamwork, and leadership which can help young adults stand out in University applications or to future employers, helping to kick-start careers and other life goals.

There are three awards: Bronze Award, Silver Award and Gold Award. Edward, who has now achieved all three awards, spoke to us about the requirements of the programme. The sections for Gold Award are:

  • Volunteering for 12 months
  • Physical and Skills sections 
  • Expedition section 
  • Residential section


It is a commitment – it does take a lot of time to do but it is so worth it. Not only does it look good on a CV and make me more employable, but the memories I have taken away from it are ones that will be with me until I am old.


As part of working towards his Gold, Edward consistently volunteered at his local swimming pool helping to teach swimming classes, took part in swimming himself as part of his physical section, achieved his grade 7 in trumpet for his skills section, and embarked on a four-day hike across Dartmoor: "We were really fortunate when it came to the weather during our practice hike across Dartmoor, but when it came to the actual hike, we were very unfortunate: it rained the entire time and as much as tried to keep everything dry, by the second day everything was soaked! It was still a good experience though and I am really glad I did it.” 

Edward reflects on his time achieving the various sections of the programme incredibly fondly, giving credit to his secondary school who encouraged many students to take part in the DofE: “I think it is great that so many people from my school participated initially, even if they never completed it. I think more schools should be promoting the DofE as something to get involved with.”


I would definitely recommend doing it, because the skills you learn and the experiences you have are like no other. It’s inspired me to try new things and motivate me to finish what I start.


After all his perseverance to complete all sections of his Gold DofE, Edward was invited to mark his achievements with friends and family members by attending Buckingham Palace Garden to receive his Gold Award in person. 

As well as other young individuals there to receive their awards, the celebrations also welcomed inspirational people, such as motivational speakers, actors, athletes, authors, presenters and more. 


We had the chance to walk around all the grounds, enjoy the flower gardens, take some photos, and listen to various guest speakers in marquees. It was a really great experience and one I will not forget.


Along with many others who delivered inspiring speeches, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who received his own Gold Award from his father Price Philip in 1986, gave a speech to congratulate those in attendance.


 It was amazing to be there with my family and be around like-minded people who have all dedicated a lot of time and effort to achieve their Award too.




With a Gold DofE now ticked off the list of goals, Edward is now looking to the future as he approaches the end of his year-long placement in the Blood Sciences department at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. 

Having honed a diversity of skills from his experiences with achieving his DofE, academic work and placements, as well as skills developed during his time as a committee member for the Golf Club, Edward will be returning in the next academic year to complete his fourth and final year at the University of Plymouth. 

Here at the SU, we would like to say a big thank you to Edward for sharing this milestone with us. The devotion to attaining the Gold Award over many years whilst balancing and maintaining academic achievements and hobbies shows incredible determination and dedication.

A huge congratulations for this fantastic accomplishment, Edward!