Voluntary sector pays tribute to Prince Philip

The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in supporting hundreds of charities during his lifetime

The Duke of Edinburgh (Photograph: Danny Lawson/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke of Edinburgh (Photograph: Danny Lawson/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Scores of voluntary sector organisations have paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, who died this morning aged 99.

The royal family has asked people who want to mark his death to make gifts to "charities close to their hearts".

Prince Philip served as a patron or president of more than 750 organisations and carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements.

Just two months away from his 100th birthday in June, he was the longest-serving consort in British history.

Arguably his most famous charitable endeavour is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he founded in 1956.

The programme now operates in 141 countries and territories and about 2.5m people have received the award in the UK alone.

In a statement on its website the charity said: “The DofE has become one of the Duke’s most remarkable achievements and is woven into the fabric of the UK, equipping and empowering young people from all communities to build the skills, confidence, and resilience they need to make the most out of life and make a difference to the world around them.”

Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scouts, was among many in the sector who praised the legacy of the scheme.

As did Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, who said the regulator offered its sincere condolences to the Queen and the royal family.

She said: “Prince Philip also notably founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award charity in 1956, benefitting so many young people today and over the years.”

The British Red Cross joined a chorus of charities tweeting images of Prince Philip while sharing their sadness and condolences.

Martin Rutledge, chief executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, said: “Always a proud advocate of the armed forces community, having seen active service during the Second World War, Prince Philip served for many decades as grand president of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, an organisation we work closely with to this day to ensure that those who serve the Crown can live with independence and dignity.”

During the Duke of Edinburgh’s presidency of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents between 1965 and 1968, the charity said it ran its biggest-ever campaign in 1967, during which deaths from accidents fell by 1,500 year on year.

Baroness Jolly, president of RoSPA, said: “He was a tremendous ambassador for industrial safety, urging employers to increase their accident prevention activities and highlighting the individual tragedies that industrial accidents and diseases can bring to ordinary families.”

Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Prince Philip’s role as our patron was one aspect of a life characterised by support for good causes and devotion to public service. His contribution will forever be remembered.”

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