Duke of Edinburgh Remembered

16 April 2021

With the sad news of the Duke of Edinburgh's passing on 9th April 2021, aged 99, volunteer and Duke of Edinburgh Award coordinator, Pete Stammers, reflects on the impact the scheme has had on its many participants since the programme began at the Museum in 2014.

   "Just one of the many lasting memorials to the Duke of Edinburgh will be the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, established in 1956 for young people and is, as the Duke himself once said, a “Do it yourself growing up kit”. Since 1956, 6.7 million people in the UK have undertaken the award – that’s nearly 1 in 10 people.

At Brooklands Museum, we have been involved with the DofE Scheme since 2014 and I’m immensely proud to have been the Museum’s DofE Co-ordinator since then. So far, 217 young people have signed up to do their “Volunteering” or “Skills” section at Brooklands, and 103 have completed their voluntary activity with us; 4 have completed their “Gold” award and 21 their “Silver”. Several DofE Volunteers have stayed on and became Volunteer Stewards.

So, what do DofE volunteers do at Brooklands? They develop self-belief, self-confidence, a sense of identity, independence, respect, a sense of responsibility and the ability to lead and work as a team; the core aims of the DofE Programme. And the way we help young people achieve these aims is by integrating them into our Volunteer Stewards’ Team. They are well trained, undertaking a 3-hour tour of the site – not as a visitor, but as a potential member of staff. This is an orientation tour involving not only a knowledge of the facilities (toilets, etc.) but also the main “areas” and the history of the museum.

Training involves developing an awareness of “stewarding” at Brooklands, including public interaction and a “front of house” mindset, an awareness of Security & H&S and a sound awareness of action to be taken when these are compromised, as well as knowing who in each “area” has the radio when to contact Reception and action to be taken during visitor illness.

For many of our youngsters, this is the first time they’ve had such responsibilities – and it’s real. We have a terrific team of adult volunteer stewards who support the “DofERs” and Brooklands Museum is seen by our DofErs and their families as a very “safe” place to be.

It’s awe-inspiring to see these youngsters develop. They are encouraged and supported in evolving strategies for interacting with visitors – especially in listening to visitor experiences. To see keen, active, and confident teenagers as part of the Museum team is tremendous for the Museum too; we feel the legacy of the Museum is secure if we have young people active in a real way in contributing to the running of the museum.

Surely, this is what the Duke of Edinburgh had in mind when his foresight created the “Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme” - young people helping to preserve and cherish our heritage and developing skills to pass on that knowledge to other people – visitors - so that they too might know of our magnificent achievements. The Duke’s remarkable intuition will live on in the DofE Volunteers at Brooklands!"

Peter Stammers DofE Co-ordinator Brooklands Museum


Brooklands Museum will be joining in paying our respects to HRH, Duke of Edinburgh and remembering his incredible life and achievements during the nation's one-minute silence on Saturday 17th April, 3pm. 

Prince Philip alongside two members of staff inside the Wellington Hangar

Prince Philip visiting Brooklands Museum after the 2000 floods

Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteers help with the maintenance of the Hawker Hurricane.