Earl and Countess of Sussex

The Earl of Wessex is the youngest child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and a full-time working member of the Royal Family. He supports Her Majesty in her official duties – often alongside his wife The Countess of Wessex – as well as undertaking public engagements for a large number of his own charities. His work has a particular focus on the development of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, from which he has taken over many responsibilities from his father.

The Earl carries out a busy schedule of engagements in support of a large number of charities. His Royal Highness is especially passionate about organisations and causes which provide opportunities to young people.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Founded by Prince Philip in 1956, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a flexible programme which helps young people to develop skills for life and work. The Earl of Wessex has been deeply committed to the organisation’s work since achieving his own Gold Award in 1986. The following year, His Royal Highness became a UK Trustee of the charity and of the International Award Association, and was chair of its International Council for 17 years. Since 2015 The Earl has been Chairman of the Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. In these roles, The Earl travels widely within the UK and overseas, attending events and presenting Gold Awards. In 1999, he established the International Special Projects Group, to broaden the reach of the Award, especially to young people considered to be at risk or marginalised in society.

During 2016, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will celebrate its 60th anniversary, with The Earl of Wessex playing a leading role. Over the past six decades almost 2.5 million young people have achieved Awards. There are currently one million participants in the initiative.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex Trust

In 2019, the Wessex Youth Trust was renamed The Earl and Countess of Wessex Trust. Having met the charity’s original objective – supporting and advancing organisations which provide opportunities for children and young people – the Trust will now broaden its charitable endeavours beyond youth focused initiatives and will focus on developing strong relationships with a selected group of charities.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex founded The Wessex Youth Trust Shortly before their marriage in 1999. It offered grants and support to charities helping young people. The Trust benefited a broad cross-section of youth oriented causes, including hospitals and hospices, child protection and drug-prevention schemes, inner city drop-in centres, sex education initiatives, special educational needs libraries, sports facilities and arts groups. The Wessex Youth Trust distributed over £2.5 million to over 180 causes during its two successful decades.

About The Countess of Wessex

A full-time working member of the Royal Family, The Countess of Wessex splits her time between her work in support of The Queen and visits to a large number of her own charities and organisations. She has a wide range of interests which include supporting people with disabilities, the prevention of blindness in developing countries, agriculture and fashion.

Much of the day-to-day working life of The Countess of Wessex is taken up with her roles as Patron of over 70 charities and organisations. Each year, Her Royal Highness undertakes hundreds of visits to schools, universities, military bases and charity headquarters in order to learn more about their work, and to highlight it to the wider world.

Young people and children

The Countess of Wessex has a strong personal interest in the provisions for people with disabilities and embracing opportunities for young people, championing both local initiatives such as Disability Initiative in Surrey as well as national charities such as the NSPCC.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex established their foundation The Wessex Youth Trust in 1999 with a focus to help, support and advance registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people.

In 2019, the Wessex Youth Trust was renamed The Earl and Countess of Wessex Trust. Having met the charity’s original objective – supporting and advancing organisations which provide opportunities for children and young people – the Trust will now broaden its charitable endeavours beyond youth focused initiatives and will focus on developing strong relationships with a selected group of charities.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex founded The Wessex Youth Trust Shortly before their marriage in 1999. It offered grants and support to charities helping young people. The Trust benefited a broad cross-section of youth oriented causes, including hospitals and hospices, child protection and drug-prevention schemes, inner city drop-in centres, sex education initiatives, special educational needs libraries, sports facilities and arts groups. The Wessex Youth Trust distributed over £2.5 million to over 180 causes during its two successful decades.

 

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