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Dare to be your best self

Thank you for visiting SkillForce and The Prince William Award. The charity is now closed but the staff, supporters and patrons are all so proud of the amazing work that has been carried out over almost two decades.

The charity has helped tens of thousands of children to build their character, resilience and confidence and empowered them to be their best, using the skills and life experience of instructors, often with a service-related background.

SkillForce has also helped improve the lives of countless veterans, either through employment or via our Veterans Support Programme.

In 2016 SkillForce launched a brand new education award programme with the support of the charity’s Royal Patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge. The Prince William Award was a pioneering year-long character education programme which enjoyed phenomenal success. In 2018/19 alone the award was delivered to 15,000 children and young people in more than 400 schools across England, Scotland and Wales.
This important work has improved the lives of thousands of children, helping them to stand taller, speak louder and feel more self-assured. Furthermore, our character education programmes have been influential in helping education leaders recognise that character and well-being should play a significant part in a young person’s education journey.

The staff would like to issue a sincere thank you to the hundreds of schools who have partnered with SkillForce to give their pupils pioneering character and resilience education and to the many funders who have supported SkillForce over the years.

If you have any queries relating to the closure of SkillForce please contact Andrew Stevens

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About SkillForce

SkillForce was established in 2004 to help young people achieve their potential. We help them build their character, resilience and confidence from an early age. We empower them to “be their best”, to access the full curricular and extra curricula experience at school and insodoing we help them achieve and exceed.

The people who turn these young lives around are our brilliant instructors, the majority of whom have served their country in the British Armed Forces. These ‘heroes in schools’ embody the Service values and understand the importance of teamwork, resilience and self-discipline. They are the complementary role models that many children need working alongside their teachers.

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Great North Run

Great North Run

Joining #TeamSkillForce means you will be raising vital funds for our ground-breaking character and resilience programme, The Prince William Award.

The award has been devised to help children and young people to stand tall and speak up, to bounce back from life’s problems and grab hold of all its opportunities. It teaches teamwork skills, problem solving and gives children the chance to understand who they are. Ultimately we aim to help children feel happy in their own skin so that they can flourish. What can be more important than that?

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Our Reason

SkillForce and our awards exist to champion the fundamental importance of character and resilience education to all human flourishing. Furthermore, to harness the unique life experiences of veterans and role models with a service- related background to inspire and mentor a generation and beyond.

Our Vision

Our vision is a future in which character and resilience education plays an important role in the well-being and positive mental health of children and young people – that it is easily accessible and delivered as a right to all school pupils.

Our Mission

Is to inspire generations of self-believers – Confident, Resilient and Prepared for life.

Our Values

Respect: Linking to our veterans and the Armed Forces, our programmes promote and teach the importance of respect for each other, for ourselves and for our communities.

Courage: We challenge our students and our staff to ‘dare to be their best selves’ at all times, summoning the bravery to face obstacles as well as embrace opportunities.

Integrity: We champion the value of honesty and a clear set of moral values as key to developing a strong sense of self.

Service: SkillForce is proud of its strong links to the Armed Forces. We value service in the wider sense and this is an integral part of who we are and what we do.

Self-worth: We believe that a person’s sense of self-worth is fundamental to their future success and that it underpins their level of confidence, resilience and self-belief. We are passionate about helping everyone to understand that their lives are important and they deserve the opportunity to be their best.

Our Unique Approach

To draw on the unique skills and experiences of role models with an Armed Forces or Service-related background to deliver pioneering character and resilience education programmes.

Our instructors are our heroes in schools, the USP of our programmes and the driving force behind our mission.

SkillForce is proud to have been awarded Gold in the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, 2018.

The award recognises organisations which show a continued commitment to supporting the Armed Forces Community and have signed the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise by the nation to ensure that those who serve or have served, are treated fairly.

SkillForce employs predominantly ex-service personnel and most are trained as instructors in our pioneering character education programmes. These ‘Heroes in Schools’ help children and young people develop vital life skills such as confidence, resilience, courage and self-belief. SkillForce also runs a Veterans Support Programme supporting those who may have struggled with the transition into civilian life. SkillForce is committed to providing meaningful employment to veterans and is proud to have been awarded gold in the Employer Recognition Scheme.

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About The Prince William Award

The Prince William Award offers an exciting and rewarding opportunity to explore and develop character as young people grow up and mature. It is open to all children aged 6-14, irrespective of background or ability.

The Award provides a context to allow young people to think independently and make positive, informed decisions. This enables them to consider the impact of their actions and behaviour on themselves, on others and on the world around them.

The basis of the award is experiential learning – students learn and embed knowledge through experience, and learning is facilitated through coaching by trained instructors, with opportunity for reflection.

The Award is delivered at three different levels, Pioneer, Explorer and Trailblazer, each appropriate for a broad age range.

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The Measure Of Our Success

The Prince William Award is having a real impact on the children and young people completing the programme.

of participants said that the programme helped them better in their learning.

and a similar proportion of staff from participating schools rated the programme as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. 

The Measure Of Our Success

The Prince William Award is having a real impact on the children and young people completing the programme.

The number of pupils of high levels of socio-emotional competency, has increased from 4% to 22%

At the end of the programme, 20% of primary school pupils were doing better in maths, 24% in reading, and 19% in writing.

The Measure Of Our Success

The Prince William Award is having a real impact on the children and young people completing the programme.

The number of pupils for whom social-emotional development was identified as an area of need has reduced from 47% to 15%

70% of pupils noticed improvements in their confidence and self-esteem 

The programme has been independently evaluated by some of the country's leading academics

“There were improvements in each aspect of children’s mental toughness…(and) there were also reductions in the extent of behaviour difficulties as reported by class teachers. Repeated measures revealed that the improvement in total mental toughness was statistically significant.”

Dr Helen St Clair-Thompson, from Newcastle University’s School of Psychology.

Support Us

Our ambition is that The Prince William Award will be the leading character and resilience education programme in the country. We can not, however, achieve this alone. Charitable donations and sponsorship are critical to our success.

Your support allows us to deliver transformational opportunities to young people, helping them develop the skills they need to succeed in education, work and life. In doing so, we are able to offer training and transition support to ex-Services personnel, giving those who have served their country an opportunity to serve their community.

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Join Us

Do you have the ability and to encourage young people to be their best selves? In partnership with schools, SkillForce draws upon the skills of predominantly ex-Services personnel to inspire young people. We have exciting opportunities for experienced, high quality instructors to join our teams across the UK to deliver The Prince William Award.

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Welcome from our Chief Executive

We need to ensure that the young adults of tomorrow are able to cope with the huge challenges and opportunities that life presents.

When you read the newspapers, watch the news, or flick through your social media pages, I am sure you will agree with me that resilience and character education is more important now than ever before.

We must do everything in our power to instil the best of British values and a sense of identity in young people to counteract and undermine those who wish to sow hatred and division.

SkillForce is already helping thousands of children to develop character and resilience. However, we are ambitious for all young people to benefit from The Prince William Award. Our aim is to reach over 20,000 children and young people per year by the end of 2020 and to become the sector leading provider of resilience and character education. This is the only award programme of its kind in the UK and the only one to bear HRH’s name. As such, it means a great deal to us all!

If you would like to find out more about SkillForce please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ben Slade
Chief Executive, SkillForce

Contact Us

To find out more about the work of The Prince William Award, delivered by SkillForce, please get in touch:

SkillForce, Edwinstowe House, High Street, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, NG21 9PR