RICHARD Bliss from Altrincham, was for eight  years, involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme becoming the North West Regional Ambassador for five years before standing down five years ago.

His involvement came soon after he experienced a catastrophic accident after body surfing in the Caribbean.   He broke his neck and is now in a wheelchair.

He expressed his regret at the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.  

He said:“We should acknowledge the contribution he has made to society from the World Wild Life scheme to the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme.

“They weren’t vanity projects, promoting  an individual . but schemes designed for mass participation, creating the opportunity for anyone to become involved.”

Richard’s daughter, Emma, herself an award winner and later an organiser, had said:

“The award winners were the stars of the show, not him”

Richard said:  “I believe the award scheme was the Duke’s greatest legacy.  It has helped over seven million 14-24-year olds in this country and many more across the Commonwealth and the world.”

Richard, who has attended many award ceremonies said:  “The Duke, and more recently, his son, Prince Edward, (who, appropriately will one day take on his father’s title), engaged with people wiling to tell their stories.

"I met both of them at Awards, Dinners, garden parties and fundraising events.

“I don’t remember our conversations although I do recall hearing laughter from each group of recipients when he met them.”

In the late 50s, Richard received a bronze award himself, although he can only remember running somewhere.

“The scheme includes one section where participants have to be self-sufficient carrying their belongings.

“Its adaptability and flexibility means that all young people including those with disabilities, can take part.

“All of them must step out of their comfort zone and work together for both their own and the Community’s benefit