The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation has selected Rumyana Ashkova to be honoured for her outstanding support of young people through her involvement in the International Youth Personal Development Programme.

To mark the centenary of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Award he founded is celebrating some of its most inspiring volunteers. In recognition of the exceptional work they do in support of young people, they have received a letter of commendation from HRH Prince Edward – Prince Philip’s son and Chairman of the International Award Foundation – and a special commemorative coin marking the life and legacy of the Duke, produced by the Royal Mint in the UK.

And as the world marked International Volunteer Day on Sunday 5 December, Rumyana is set to receive a special delivery from an unlikely source - a royal prince.

For Rumiana Ashkova, the adventure with the Award began in 2016 as a participant at the Gold level of youth development project MOGA - Smolyan. Today, 5 years later Rumi is an active Chairwomen of the Alumni Club in Bulgaria. Rumyana is one of the first seven Gold Award holders from Bulgaria who attended a ceremony in September 2018. Since then Rumyana has been actively involved in the operations of the Award in Bulgaria, particularly in the development and implementation of our Award Alumni network. As a volunteer and with the help of National Award Operator staff, she developed the strategy for launching and expanding the network in Bulgaria and is currently the primary coordinator for it, whilst also studying Business Management at the University of Surrey at Guildford and until recently working as a Consumer Marketing Trainee at one of the biggest mobile operators in the country. She has also been involved in organising a fundraising event for the Award in partnership with the British Embassy. She supports a number of the programme's activities, sharing her experiences, inspiring and encouraging young people to take part in the programme.

"I grew up with the Award. I developed myself, changed my worldview, met wonderful people. It was an adventure with a capital 'A' and brought me many moments of joy and satisfaction. At this point, I appreciate the most the people with whom the Award has connected me and continues to do so. It has given me a lot and this is the reason why I don't want to lose touch with it." - Rumyana shares about the program.

Clare Maclennan, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint, said: "The Duke of Edinburgh and The Royal Mint enjoyed a close relationship for many years, with the Prince serving as President of The Royal Mint Advisory Committee from 1952 until 1999. As such, we were delighted to create a coin celebrating the legacy of this remarkable man, and to support the work of the charity by gifting 100 coins to 100 incredible volunteers."

"Rumyana’s dedication to the Award is a proof of how a young person unlocks their infinite potential and returns to give back to the community with passion and determination. She seems to thrive in her long term volunteer commitment with community development and fundraising. She is truly the Award to the program in Bulgaria." - says Lilia Harizanova, Executive Director of the programme in Bulgaria.

Inspiring Award volunteers are being celebrated around the world - from Fiji to Finland and the United States to Uganda.

Every year, more than a million young people start their Award, supported by almost 200,000 volunteers across 130 countries and territories. Millions have participated since the programme began in 1956.

For the past year, the Award programme in our country has worked with more than 160 young people who give 1 hour each week to volunteer. Alongside them, young participants in the Award are supported by more than 600 Mentors in their chosen activities, more than 250 Leaders and over 100 trained Supervisors and Assessors.

To learn more about the Award in Bulgaria, visit To learn more about the Award internationally, visit

The material was provided by The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation - Bulgaria.