February 12, 2016

The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE)

The DofE is the world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be, and Woodseats is proud to be supporting the award with the majority of Explorers taking up the challenge.

We’ve put this quick guide together to explain more about the award and where you can find more information.


You can now email our DofE Co-Ordinators at: dofe@woodseatsscouts.co.uk.
They’ll sort out any questions or queries about the award or eDofE.


So, what is the DofE Award?

The DofE is all about going the extra mile – gaining new skills, pushing yourselves physically, helping others and exploring new territories. At the same time, you’ll gather friendships, experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

Looking forward, the DofE can help you to carve out a better future. Colleges, universities and employers regard a DofE Award highly so it will help to open the right doors for you. If you’re keen to get off the sofa and put 100% into something that could change their life, the DofE is for them.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, as long as you’re 14 to 24, you can choose the activities that motivate you and go on your own personal journey. We know from other participants that the DofE helps them stand out from the crowd when you apply for college, university or jobs.


Levels and timescales

There are three Award levels:

  • Bronze – for those aged 14+ years
  • Silver – for those aged 15+ years
  • Gold – for those aged 16+ years

Activities for each DofE section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, so they can be fitted in around academic study, hobbies and social lives. Development and regular progress must be shown and all activities must be completed by the participant’s 25th birthday.


Bronze Timescales

  • Volunteering section: 3 months
  • Physical section: 3 months
  • Skills section: 3 months
  • Expedition section: 2 days/1 night
  • You also have to do 3 more months in one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.

Silver timescales

  • Volunteering section: 6 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
  • Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights
  • If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

Gold timescales

  • Volunteering section: 12 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
  • Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
  • Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.
  • If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

What can you do for each section?

Physical

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The Physical section is a chance for you to focus on your health and fitness and have fun along the way. As long as you pick something that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity, the possibilities are endless.

Improve your football, rock climbing or dance skills or try a completely new sport or activity. Join a team or do it on your own. You don’t have to be super fit or world class – with the DofE, it’s about setting your own challenges, giving 100% and being the very best you can be.

Check out the kind of physical activities you could do.

Skill

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The Skills section is about discovering what you’re really good at. Maybe you want to get better at something you already do, like playing a musical instrument, or learn something for the very first time, like how to design a website?

By developing practical and social skills and nurturing your personal interests and talents, you’ll boost your self-esteem and your CV.

Check out our list of skills ideas.

Volunteering

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Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives. Perhaps you’re interested in animals or conservation? Or you might like to work with older people or raise money for a cause that means a lot to you? From teaching children cyber safety to starting a local recycling campaign, the Volunteering section of your DofE enables you to give your time to help others and change things for the better.

You’ll really put your heart into volunteering through your DofE. Like Kyle, many find this section the most rewarding and continue to volunteer long after achieving a DofE Award.

Get inspired by our Volunteering ideas list.

Expedition

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Imagine horse riding in the Brecon Beacons, cycling in the Scottish Highlands or hiking in Canada. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll have an unforgettable experience getting to grips with the great outdoors.

As part of a small team, you’ll plan and complete a practice and final expedition that will truly stretch your horizons. You’ll improve your communication and leadership skills and take a rucksack full of memories home with you. It’s completely up to you how you’re in a team with too.

Get some inspiration from our expedition ideas list.


How much does it cost?

The DofE endeavours to keep your costs down so the current Welcome Pack, which includes the participation fee, is £17 for the Bronze Award, £17 for Silver and £24 for Gold. Everyone receives a DofE Reward Card to get discounts on things like kit and expeditions don’t need to be expensive.

Cheques are NOT made payable to Woodseats, but to South Yorkshire County Scouts, which is where we send the application form and cheque off too (as the organise the DofE Award in the County).


Who’s leading the award at Woodseats?

We’ve got a highly experienced and dedicated team together to lead the award scheme, in conjunction with the Woodseats Leadership team.

John Bolton will be our DofE Co-ordinator at Woodseats and will be the central contact point for you guys. Working at a Seconday School, John currently runs the DofE Scheme for hundreds of young people just like you, so there’s nothing he doesn’t know.

Working alongside John will be Andy Eddison. A senior leader both in Scouting and the Police Force, Andy comes with a wealth of experience and dedication, to help encourage you guys through the award.

A number of other Woodseats Leaders are DofE Leaders too, so we’re always around as well. You’ll always see at least 2 Woodseats Leaders on your DofE Expeditions.

You can get in touch with them by emailing: dofe@woodseatsscouts.co.uk.


Sounds awesome, how do I get started?

Simply fill out one of these forms, and bring it back to Woodseats on any Thursday with the cheque for the right amount (and the right payee – South Yorkshire County Scouts), and we’ll do the rest! Easy right?!