Somerset Freemasons have raised £25,000 for disadvantaged young people in memory of HRH Prince Philip.

In just seven weeks, the incredible sum was raised entirely through members' donations.

The announcement came on June 10, which would have been the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100 birthday. 

Ben Batley, deputy head  of the Freemasons in Somerset, said: "I am honoured on behalf of all the members of the 89 Lodges that represent Somerset Freemasons to announce a donation in excess of £25,000 has been raised to allow for disadvantaged participants to take part in the DoE Award Scheme across the County over the next few years.

"It is a Bursary Fund in memory of HRH The Prince Philip who would have achieved his 100th birthday today.

"The donation should support around 250 young people in their own personal development of key life skills.  I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this special fund through donations that come from direct giving by members alone."

Upon hearing of the donation the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Annie Maw, said: "I am delighted and proud of the donation which the Somerset Freemasons have made to the Somerset Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Bursary Fund.

"What better way could there be to commemorate a fine man on the centenary of his birth, than this?

"Without doubt many young people will benefit from this act of generosity so that, in the future, young people from a wider sphere will gain the pleasure, the adventure and, ultimately, the life enhancing experience of participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s marvelous and visionary scheme."

Councillor Clare Paul, Cabinet Member for Education and Public Health at Somerset County Council, who administers the scheme in Somerset, said: "We would like to thank Somerset’s Freemasons for their significant and generous donation and I am sure these funds will be put to good use to benefit many young people’s lives in Somerset.

"I’d like to encourage those aged 14-24 wishing to take part to get in touch by emailing"

HRH Prince Philip, himself a Freemason for 69 years started the DofE Award Scheme in 1956. Since then more than 6 million young people have taken part.

Nationally, the Freemasons, in partnership with the Masonic Charitable foundation have also become a strategic partner with The Duke of Edinburgh Award, donating a further £300,000 to provide access to 30,000 special educational needs and disabled participants across the country  by 2024.