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Many young people find achieving a DofE Award life-changing. A fun adventure and major challenge, three progressive Award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and a wide range of activities offer endless possibilities to anyone aged 14 to 24. Millions of young people in the UK have already taken part in the world’s leading youth achievement award – pushing personal boundaries, gaining new skills and enhancing their CVs and university applications.

There are three levels of programme you can do which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The main differences between them are the minimum length of time they take to complete, how challenging they are and the minimum age you can start.


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.



Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives. Perhaps joining the schools Eco – Committee or Fair Trade Cooperative? 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.



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, swimming 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.



The Skills section is about discovering what you’re really good at or trying something completely new. 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 first aid or 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.



Imagine horse riding in the Carrick Hills, cycling in the Galloway Forest or hiking on the River Ayr Way. 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.


Getting involved

Whatever activities your child has chosen to pursue for their DofE programme, they will need your support and guidance to help them through. As well as encouraging them to keep their eDofE pages up-to-date, you may be called upon to offer lifts to their after-school activities as well as provide financial support if necessary.


You may, however, feel that you have other skills to offer. In which case, why not volunteer with your local DofE group?


You don’t need special qualifications to be a DofE volunteer – from giving guidance and advice or training and assessing young people’s progress, to driving a minibus or helping with administration, there’s a role for everyone. If you have regular involvement you will need to undergo the standard safeguarding checks. You could also choose to fundraise to support your local DofE group, other more disadvantaged groups in your area, or for the DofE Charity nationally. 


For more information check out the Duke of Edinburgh Website.


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