Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) awards

The DofE Award is aimed at young people who are aged 14 years or older or who have started Year 9 at school. You have until your 25th birthday to complete the award. You plan your own unique journey by choosing from a range of volunteering, physical, skills and expedition activities as well as taking part in a residential at Gold. There are three progressive award levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold.

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Why do a DofE award

  • It is fun and rewarding
  • You will grow in confidence and become more independent
  • It looks great on your CV and opens doors to education and employment opportunities
  • You get to volunteer, get fit, learn and go on expeditions
  • It is one amazing adventure after another that you will never forget

How long will a DofE award take?

A full Bronze Award will take at least six months. You spend three months on each section; Volunteering, Physical and Skills. You also need to spend a further three months on a section of your choice and complete a two day expedition. Silver and Gold require additional amounts of time.

What’s involved?

You choose the activities you are going to do for the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections. You also plan and take part in an expedition.  As part of the Gold award you are required to organise a five day residential course.

Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives. Getting off the sofa and taking time out to change things for the better can be great fun. From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there’s an endless list of the types of projects you can get involved in.

The Physical section will help you to achieve a greater fitness level by participating in a physical activity. It is sure to make you feel healthier and you’ll have fun along the way! From hockey to dance, rock climbing to swimming, wheelchair basketball to yoga – almost any dance, sport or fitness activity can count. You can join a team or do it on your own, concentrate on something you’re already doing or try something completely different – it is up to you.

The Skills section is all about developing practical and social skills and personal interests. By choosing to develop a particular skill you are not only developing a new talent but you will also boost your self-esteem, develop practical and social skills and learn how to set and rise to a challenge. If this is not enough, it should also be good fun too. From podcasting to playing a musical instrument, fine art to website design, there’s an endless list of the types of skills you can do.

The Expedition will involve working together in a team of between four and seven people. With your team, you’ll plan an aim for your expedition, plan your route and do lots of fun training to make sure you’re fully prepared and know what you are doing.

Volunteering as a voluntary leader or supporter 

You could help young people from all backgrounds to gain positive life-changing experience, grow confidence and fulfil their potential.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award Scheme is long standing and highly successful.

Help us support DofE’s ambition to increase participation in this amazing scheme and make it even more accessible.

We are looking to grow and expand our support across diverse communities in South Gloucestershire by engaging a wider pool of voluntary leaders and supporters.  This can be for:

  • expedition training, planning and the expeditions themselves, which vary between 2 and 5 days away, either locally in the Mendips or Forest of Dean, or further afield on Exmoor, Dartmoor, Wales or the Lake District
  • mentoring individuals or groups to learn new skills, take on physical activities or volunteer in the local community. 

What you’ll get out of volunteering:

  • experience working with and supporting young people and training where relevant
  • the reward of seeing young people from all backgrounds grow confidence, flourish and achieve things they never thought they could
  • This could be the first step towards a rewarding career in youth work or a related area, particularly if you are doing relevant study courses
  • For anyone doing their gold DofE Award, this could also fulfil the volunteering requirement.

What qualities do I need to be a volunteer?

  • Our volunteers are of all ages and from a wide range of backgrounds
  • You may be keen on sharing a love for the outdoors but this isn’t essential
  • You may have wider interests, or be keen to help with a diverse range of young people.

Interested?  Please contact Sarah Gay sarah.gay@southglos.gov.uk  and we will arrange an informal chat about your suitability, induction and training.

Further information

If you would like to find out more information, please speak to your school.

We have an open award centre in Thornbury. Please contact toacdofe@gmail.com for further information.

FACE in Patchway has a DofE group as part of their SEND youth provision.

Visit the DofE website.

Contact sarah.gay@southglos.gov.uk for further information including on our online sessions for young people who are electively home educated.