Prince Philip’s legacy lives on in Eastbourne

From: Vanessa MattinglyCo-ordinator, Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, Eastbourne Open Award Centre

Prince Philip’s legacy in Eastbourne, as everywhere else in the world, was his excellent Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme which inspired its participants to improve their lives as well as helping communities.

The scheme’s four rocks –public service, fitness, skills and expedition – have not changed since 1956, setting the acknowledged standards within the different levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold.

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Thousands of young people in the Eastbourne area have achieved the award with those gaining Gold meeting Prince Philip in person at the official ceremonies in London with the Duke of Edinburgh never missing a single ceremony.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 2: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh raises his hat in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, makes his final individual public engagement as he attends a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge, on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on August 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images) SUS-210419-170826003

During the presentations the Prince always came over and had conversations with the inspired youngsters.

What was really amazing was that he always remembered from previous occasions the volunteers who had accompanied the young people.

The majority of young people in Eastbourne who have completed the award did the programme at their schools. For some of them, The Eastbourne Open Award Centre at Hampden Park, Brodrick Road has provided a venue for participation.

More than a thousand young people have achieved their award at the centre since its formation in 1993 with only the lockdown slowing things down temporarily. Every year the Achievers have been invited to an award ceremony at the Town Hall to receive their certificates from the mayor.

One of the centre’s great successes is the commitment of its managing committee under the chairperson, Hon. Ald. Olive Woodhall , the secretary, Mrs Gladys Attwater and expedition leader Mrs Trudie Godfrey plus the many local volunteers and the parents who support the expeditions (especially, when it’s raining!).

The centre will be open for business this autumn 2021.

Young people who would like to join the award programme for the 2021-2022 season may contact the secretary Mrs Gladys Attwater at [email protected]

Finally, a big thank you to HRH Prince Philip!