It involves more than 5,000 young people across Kirklees.

And now Duke of Edinburgh leaders have celebrated a “record” year of involvement.

Richard Smith, Head of Kirklees’ Integrated Youth Support Service, made the remarks following a DofE gold awards celebration in the garden of Buckingham Palace, which he attended with Denise Bedford, manager of the Kirklees DofE branch.

He said that the local scheme, with which over 5,000 young people are involved, was one of the most successful in the country.

The awards, which celebrate youth community involvement and self development involves participants from 13 to 25-years-old, who must complete various voluntary, skills and physical tasks.

People can get involved through uniformed and voluntary organisations, schools, pupil referral units and Asian girl groups.

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Richard, who helped to represent Kirklees members at Buckingham Palace, said: “This has to be one of the most successful schemes in the country especially with the numbers and diversity of those involved and the year-on-year increase in starters and graduates.

“It was a privilege to have been there on behalf of Kirklees Council, we have something here to be really proud of.

“Kirklees is rather unique with over 5,000 young people involved with the award from all areas and localities including significant numbers of young people with disabilities.

“In the last year 1,448 Kirklees youngsters have started the Award whilst 942 have completed their Award programme. These are quite remarkable numbers for a local authority of this size.

“Kirklees is also fortunate to have help from over 300 experienced and enthusiastic volunteers of all ages and from different backgrounds who support, encourage and guide young people through their DofE award programmes.

“Many of our graduates have volunteered with local services as part of their award programme and many then continue to volunteer after completion of their award.”