From Hansard 12.04.2021
We join today across this House to commemorate and celebrate the life of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. On behalf of everyone in Stoke-on-Trent, I offer my sincere condolences to the Queen and the entire royal family. Prince Philip led an incredible life of service to our nation, always at the side of our Queen and monarch over nearly 70 years. As the longest-serving consort in our history, on his own he completed more than 22,000 engagements, often fulfilled with his humorous wit and always out of commitment to Her Majesty and our country.
I will focus particularly on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme, which he started in 1956. Millions of people have benefited from the programme, including my wife, who achieved the bronze and silver awards. In Stoke-on-Trent, thousands of young people have taken part. Secondary schools such as St Thomas More and Trentham Academy encourage students to take part, with activities often undertaken in the nearby Peak district. Abbey Hill special school and Strathmore College, which both do incredible work supporting young people with disabilities or learning difficulties, have also had many of their young people undertake awards.
In Stoke-on-Trent, an area where opportunities can often be limited, the awards have had a massive impact in boosting aspirations, building opportunities to grow experience and pushing boundaries of achievement. With covid and all the challenges it has brought for our younger generations, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will continue to be more important than ever, helping to transform lives. This is his legacy, and it is the millions of lives that have benefited from the awards for which the Duke of Edinburgh will be most remembered in the years to come.