Southampton Solent Students’ Union has become the first in the UK to be able to issue the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE).

The Student’s Union now holds a licence to enable it to issue this award to students after an official launch was held at the Mayor of Southampton’s parlour.

The award was set up in 1956 by HRH Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh, to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements.

The Students’ Union currently has five students participating in the award.

Aaysha Samrin, first-year student in BA (Hons) Illustration and bronze category participant, has just written a children’s book to be distributed and sold in local play centres while Natalie Stokholm, president of the RAG Society and Advertising Society has taken the opportunity to be rewarded for all of her extra-curricular activities.

Hannah Mullarky, vice-president of student engagement and gold participant of the programme, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great opportunity for our students to get involved with charitable activities and build their confidence. We aim to have 60 students receiving a DofE award by the DofE 60th Anniversary in 2016.”