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Newark and Sherwood: Duke of Edinburgh’s Award launches #DoIt4Youth challenge to mark Prince Philip's 100th birthday

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has launched its biggest ever fundraising challenge to mark what would have been the Prince's 100th birthday.

The #DoIt4Youth campaign is a four-part, four-week sponsored challenge to raise money to support young people across the UK.

The four DofE-inspired challenges include 'GET UP' where you choose physcial activity like cycling, walking, running or climbing; 'SKILL UP' where you learn a new skill; 'FREE UP' where you give up something like sugar, meat or social media; and 'HAND UP' where you lend a hand in the community.

#DoIt4Youth challenge. Pictures: dofe.org (48422584)
#DoIt4Youth challenge. Pictures: dofe.org (48422584)

With the last year of isolation affecting us all, including young people, those who want to get involved have been encouraged to team up with friends and family to raise as much funds as possible.

The money will help more marginalised young people join DofE, helping them build a life-long belief in themselves to follow their passions, discover new talents and cope with what life throws at them. £25 could provide an hour’s mental health coaching and support for who needs it.

The fundraiser is backed by well-known faces, DofE Team Captains, and each captain is paired with a young DofE Award holder. Together they will encourage people in their regions or countries to take part in #DoIt4Youth.

#DoIt4Youth challenge. Pictures: dofe.org (48422514)
#DoIt4Youth challenge. Pictures: dofe.org (48422514)

Harry Potter stars James and Oliver Phelps have been named captains for central England, alongside Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, ‘Strictly’ star and Invictus medalist JJ Chalmers, The Vamps guitarist James McVey, journalist and broadcaster Alice Beer and TV presenter Matt Johnson who are taking part as captains across the UK.

Ruth Marvel, DofE chief executive, said: "After the year we’ve had Do It 4 Youth is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet face-to-face, have fun and reconnect after lockdown while raising vital funds to help young people build back after the pandemic."

Beth, co-Captain for central England, said: “I am currently completing my Gold DofE Award and it has been an amazing and unique experience to be part of. After previously having issues with my own mental health, the DofE has helped me to build confidence, has given me something to focus on and has made up for missed opportunities in the past.

"For my challenge, I am going to volunteer at a food bank, give up social media, learn to bake and challenge myself to walk as far as I can.

“Do it 4 Youth is a DofE inspired fundraising challenge. Anyone can get involved, no matter what their age or ability. You can set your own challenges, push yourself out of your comfort zone, learn new skills (or improve on existing ones) and raise money to ensure that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can get involved with the DofE.

"I believe that getting individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds involved in something like the DofE is important as it ensures that everyone can have a good quality of life and a second chance after experiencing issues.”

Oliver Phelps said: "It was great meeting Beth my DofE co-captain for central England. We spent some time together at the Food4U foodbank set up by Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church.

"Volunteering is a huge part of the DofE, over 1.8m hours of volunteering were completed by young people last year as part of their DofE programmes, supporting local communities at a time when they needed it most.

"For my Do It 4 Youth challenge I am also going to do one hour of exercise every day for four weeks and will be giving up cake and biscuits for the same amount of time.

"You can sponsor Team Central England or set up your own fundraising page and www.dofe.org/DoIt4Youth and complete your own set of challenges.

"The money raised could help get more young people across the Midlands and Central England involved in the DofE — especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds — so they can feel limitless.’

The challenge is open to anyone of any ability and is a chance for those who have never done DofE to get a taste of what it might have been like.

People can do it alone or as a team. They can pick their own start date from June 10 but must complete it within four weeks by September 30.

Everyone who raises £100 or more will receive their very own #DoIt4Youth commemorative pin kindly donated by NEXT plc, which can be worn to show support for young people across the UK and the Duke’s legacy.

Read more on the #DoIt4Youth challenge here.

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