Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
A DofE programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You just need to be aged between 14 and 24 and realise there’s more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by.
You can do programmes at three levels, which when completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
You achieve your Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you're going for Gold) - Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and for Gold, a Residential.
You'll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter,developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only).
The best bit is - you get to choose what you do!
Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing, and along the way you’ll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
If you need any further information, talk to your DofE Leader or, if you're not sure where you can do your DofE, get in touch with your nearest Licensed Organisation and they'll be able to help you!
Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people's lives. Getting off your 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, so have a chat with your Leader and other people in your community to find out what’s on offer, what needs doing and who needs help!
If you can't find a project you want to get involved in, why not set up a new one that will help your community? This can be on your own, with a couple of friends or even with your whole DofE group – your Leader can help you do this and may be able to act as your Assessor.
Ben Fogle, TV presenter and Silver Award holder reckons volunteering is a great thing to get involved in:
“Employers and universities recognise the value of having people who have a life away from their job. This is where the DofE comes in, it's now become the leading Award for young people to demonstrate they have interests outside of everyday life. Volunteering gives you a chance to make a difference to others and to their community. I believe that you'll find your voluntary work will increase your confidence and self-esteem and give you new skills. I would advise you all to embrace volunteering opportunities; it's a great way to collect extra experience that could give you the edge at a college, university or job interview.”
In case you're still wondering what you'll get out of the Volunteering section, this is what Sarah has to say about it:
"For my volunteering I spent a year helping children with special needs. Doing my DofE gave me even more back than the hours and effort I put in."