The Duke of Edinburgh Award International Association

The International Award Association (IAA) encompasses the DofE UK and all its other 61 National Award Authorities across the globe. Dr Chai Patel is one of seven founder members of International Special Projects (ISP) which operates under the auspices of the IAA chaired by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Essex KG GCVO.

The Patel Family invested £300,000 in an endowment fund that, combined with contributions from the other Founder Members, generates the interest that is used to fund ISP each year.  The premise of the ISP is to provide seed funding to projects which will reach those young people who would potentially benefit most from the Award experience. These projects often focus on those most vulnerable, marginalised from society and at-risk and typically last between 1 and 3 years and are granted an average of £5,000 per year. Each one is encouraged to find matched funding from other sources and to demonstrate its potential for self-sustaining growth in the future particularly.

“Over the years I have been privileged to travel around the world, to meet and spend time with participants and Award holders; the adult volunteers, leaders and mentors who inspire and guide them through their Award programme and have seen at first hand the positive impact the Award has on their communities. I sincerely hope the results of our impact research framework will not just prove the value of this remarkable youth achievement award, but also convey the emotional effect.” - HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, Trustee of the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and Chair of the International Council.

The Patel family also gave more than £200,000 to fund much of the cost of a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award research study, ‘the Aspire Project’. The DofE launched the project to understand and build upon the breadth and depth of DofE activity with young offenders. The study, conducted under the auspices of ISP, was carried out by a team of researchers from Glyndwr and Cardiff Universities.  Its main aim was to examine the delivery and organisation of the DofE in the secure estate and explore implications for young offenders and staff providing DofE programmes.