David Walliams will work alongside the Duke of Cambridge to encourage children across the UK develop important life skills, it has been announced.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge and children’s author has been named a patron for The Prince William Award, launched by the royal in 2017 to help young people develop good character, confidence and resilience.
The award scheme, run by the education charity SkillForce, is a year-long programme for children aged between six and 14, and it is aiming to reach 50,000 pupils across the UK by 2024.
It has so far been delivered to around 11,000 children in schools since it was launched.
Walliams’ role as a patron comes after he hosted the National SkillForce Prince William Award Graduation Ceremony in September 2018, marking the achievements of those who took part in the scheme in its first year.
Walliams said he is “so pleased” to have been asked to act as patron, adding:”The award gives children and young people a wonderful opportunity to develop their own character and identity, to understand how to keep going when life gets tricky and to learn to be accepting, kind and respectful.
“Children should have the opportunity to develop these traits as early as possible and The Prince William Award gives pupils that chance, with a year-long award scheme that can have a lasting impact.
“I absolutely agree that the qualities of confidence, resilience and self-esteem can form part of the foundations for positive mental health and well-being throughout life.”
The scheme helps children develop skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, empathy and respect, and is delivered by instructors who are usually forces’ veterans.
Ben Slade, SkillForce CEO, said: “We were completely bowled over by Mr Walliams’ generosity on the day of our inaugural graduation ceremony.
“He wowed the children in attendance and spent hours chatting to pupils and taking photos after the main event. This was such a treat for the children who had worked so hard to complete The Prince William Award.
“Our mission is to inspire a generation of self-believers who are confident, resilient and prepared for life and this chimes with the positive messages of endeavour, individuality, bravery and kindness that we see so often as themes in David’s much-loved books.”
Schools are invited to sign up to the award scheme by contacting SkillForce at www.skillforce.org.