Ian Cartwright, Managing Director at Dine Contract Catering has attended a special service, held at Westminster Abbey on 24th November, to mark 60 years since HRH The Duke of Edinburgh founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).

The DofE is the UK’s leading youth achievement award, with over 300,000 young people taking part each year and 50,000 adult volunteers. The service, attended by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, was a celebration of the dedication and commitment shown by all involved in the DofE.

Dine Contract Catering offers the DofE Award as part of its award-winning apprenticeship programme (which saw its 100th apprentice qualify this year) and has witnessed first-hand the incredible impact the Charity has had on the lives of young people.

HRH The Earl of Wessex, DofE UK Trustee and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, gave the Address thanking all that have played a role in making the DofE such a success and whose continued support is central to the Charity reaching out to more young people in the future.

Ian Cartwright, Managing Director from Dine Contract Catering said: “We can see just how much our own Apprentices get from taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and we’re proud to give young people access to such a fantastic programme. It was an honour to be invited to such a special event to celebrate the brilliant work of the DofE – something that Dine Contract Catering is wholeheartedly in support of.”

DofE’s Chief Executive, Peter Westgarth said: “As we reach the end of our Diamond Anniversary year our focus shifts to the DofE’s ambition to reach out to millions more young people in the future. With the incredible generosity of our volunteers, delivery partners and supporters we will work together to realise our Diamond Ambition; to enable two million more young people, 400,000 of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, to start their DofE in the UK by 2020.

“We are grateful for our Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s unwavering support and the passion and dedication of TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex to the DofE cause.”

The DofE’s Diamond Anniversary celebrations included the launch of the Diamond Challenge, a fundraising challenge designed to give everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of the DofE, a special Gold Award Presentation held at Buckingham Palace for over 7,000 people and HRH The Earl of Wessex’s Royal Diamond Tour that saw HRH visiting towns and cities across the UK to raise awareness of the impact of the DofE on local communities. This included a visit to Dine Contract Catering’s headquarters at Birchwood Park on 23rd February this year.

As part of Dine Contract Catering’s commitment to the DofE, a recent donation of £10,000 will mean the Award organisers are able to target all educational establishments in the Warrington area which are not currently offering the programme, and give them the resources needed to do so within the next two years. The donation marks the latest in Dine Contract Catering’s long-running support for the charity, for which it has raised almost £40,000 to date.