Heathrow press releases

23 February, 2016

Heathrow’s Diamond Challengers take The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to new heights

Diamond Challenge


Colleagues at Heathrow took the plunge today (23/02) as they launched the airport’s campaign to support The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Diamond Challenge.

Since 2012, Heathrow has offered colleagues under the age of 25 the chance to achieve their Gold DofE Award to build new skills and help them develop into future leaders. In the Charity’s Diamond Anniversary year, colleagues from across the airport are undertaking some very special and daring challenges to celebrate the impact of the Award over the past 60 years.

The launch began with some of the Heathrow team abseiling down the inside of Terminal 5 from Departures to Arrivals. With around 100 people taking part in the abseil alone, colleagues are aiming to raise thousands for the Charity.

Over 150 colleagues have opted to take on the FITBIT Challenge – pledging to walk, run, cycle or row the equivalent distance of one of Heathrow’s 180 worldwide destinations by the end of June. Between them this will total over 400,000 miles. Representatives from British Military Fitness were on hand during the event to help colleagues limber up for their challenge.   

HRH The Earl of Wessex was in attendance, and was presented with his own FITBIT tracker, and challenged to walk, run, cycle or row the distance to Manchester, where he will shortly be embarking on the next leg of his Royal Diamond Tour. The Earl also met 20 young people from across the airport who have completed the prestigious Gold DofE Award and attended a special business lunch.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: "It was an honour to host HRH The Earl of Wessex at Terminal 5 to launch our DofE Diamond Challenge activities. We are proud to support The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, because it helps young people to fulfil their potential.  This year we are encouraging people of all ages from across the Heathrow community to do the same by taking part in a Diamond Challenge.  "

Heathrow is proud to be supporting the DofE during its Diamond Anniversary year, in recognition of the contribution the Charity has made. Colleagues from across the airport are also pledging to come up with their own challenges and help raise money. The funds raised from the DofE Diamond Challenge will be used to fund the DofE’s Diamond Ambition to work with 2 million young people by 2020, including 400,000 from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Peter Westgarth, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award adds: “As we celebrate 60 years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, it’s great to have such fantastic support from Heathrow. The staff have really gotten behind the DofE Diamond Challenge, and we’re looking forward to hearing about how far they’ve travelled on their FITBIT challenges.”

In its anniversary year, the DofE is encouraging people of all ages to set and achieve their goals through the DofE Diamond Challenge. This is a one-off initiative for 2016 that aims to give everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Charity is encouraging people to get involved at www.DofDDiamondChallenge.org and set themselves a challenge – be that an adventure, learning a new skill or something personal.

Notes to editors: 

About The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award:

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award that develops over 300,000 young people for life and work every year in the UK.

Through achieving their Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE Awards, 14-24 year olds from all backgrounds and circumstances have the unique opportunity to grow as young adults; gaining valuable life experience whilst developing essential employability skills. Setting their own challenges, they learn practical skills, improve their fitness, volunteer in their community, plan and go on an adventurous expedition and, for Gold, they also spend time away from home with people they’ve never met, completing a shared activity.

The DofE develops tenacity, commitment and determination, admirable attributes that have a lasting impact, broadening each young person’s life and work prospects.

The DofE is run all over the UK under licence by over 1,200 partners who offer it in over 13,000 DofE centres – including schools and academies, youth clubs, businesses, voluntary organisations and young offender institutions – which are run and supported by around 50,000 adult volunteers.

The DofE is a charity and therefore dependent on charitable giving to sustain and grow the DofE so more young people can take part and transform their lives.

For more information please visit www.DofE.org.

About the DofE’s Diamond Anniversary

2016 is The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s Diamond Anniversary, celebrating 60 years since the DofE was founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956.

During its Diamond Anniversary year the DofE will celebrate the achievements of millions of young people across the UK and the world whose lives have been transformed by their DofE experience, thank the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that have made that experience possible and fundraise for the future so the DofE Charity can continue to reach out to more young people.

At 60 years young, the DofE has never been more relevant for young people in the UK, providing a tried and tested framework of activities through which young people gain vital life and work skills. In the last 60 years, over 5.6 million young people have started their DofE in the UK and almost 2.5 million have achieved Awards.

The DofE has set a Diamond Ambition to enable two million young people to take part in the DofE by 2020, 400,000 of whom will be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The DofE is planning an array of activities, royal visits and events across the year to celebrate and raise funds to boost this ambition.

About the DofE Diamond Challenge

The DofE is launching the DofE Diamond Challenge in 2016 to celebrate its Diamond Anniversary and give anyone and everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, all whilst generating funds for the Charity so that it can reach out to even more young people in the future and offer free places and bursary grants to those most in need.

People can register for the DofE Diamond Challenge at http://www.DofEDiamondChallenge.org and challenges can take place between 1 January and 31 December 2016.

Signing up to the DofE Diamond Challenge has an amazing double benefit – whilst challenging yourself, pushing your boundaries, you’re also raising money for the DofE Charity so that it can transform the lives of more young people and offer free places and bursary grants to those most in need.  



For further information about Heathrow’s participation in the Diamond Challenge please contact David Paull on 02087457224.

For further information about the DofE please contact Sarah Miles: sarah@standagency.com, 01733 294543; or Jessie Kenneth: Jessie@standagency.com, 0203 696 5806.

You can also follow the DofE on Twitter (@DofE) and like us on Facebook (DofE).