The scheme was created in th UK in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh (the husband of Queen Elizabeth II). He wanted to encourage young people to become involved in their communities. Since then the scheme has involved over 2 million people and 50 countries, and the International Award, a related programme, has involved over 5 million people in 110 countries. It is open to people aged between 14 and 25 years old and you can do a variety of activities from voluntary work to expeditions.
There is something for everyone. Natalie chose to work at a toy library for disabled children. She ha salso been on an expedition in Wales and she is now learning to play football. Rojo works as a volunteer at his local hospital, and is planning to go on a canoeing expedition.
Participants have to complete activites from four sections:
service (voluntary work), skills (pratical or artistic), physical recreation (sports), and expeditions.