Do your Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)
From Award levels, sections and times to why doing DofE can really make a difference in your life. This section gives you the information you need to know and details for how to enrol, today!
'A life-changing experience. A fun time with friends. An opportunity to discover new interests and talents. A tool to develop essential skills for life and work. A recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.
The DofE is many things to many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life'.
There are 3 progressive levels of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award; Bronze, Silver and Gold.
What age do I need to be to do the DofE?
To enrol in Bronze, the minimum age is 14 (or 13 if in S3), for Silver, the minimum age is 15 (or 14 if in S4), and for Gold, the minimum age is 16 (or 15 if in S5). You have until you are 25 to complete your DofE, so if you've never enrolled before (or you've previously enrolled and paused your DofE journey) - don't worry, there's still plenty of time.
What's involved in it?
For Bronze and Silver, there are 4 sections of your DofE journey. For Gold participants, there's 5!
- Volunteering: this is about choosing to give your time to help people or your community, the environment or animals. Activities that you are paid to do, or you do as part of your timetable at school cannot be counted as volunteering, it needs to be something extra that you give your time to that helps others.
- Physical: this is about getting active. For this section, you can choose any sport, dance or fitness activity - it could be something brand new to you, or something you are already involved in i.e. sports teams, running clubs etc. For this section, it's not a fitness test and your choice of activity only needs to be a challenge for you.
- Skills: this is about choosing a skill you want to improve. For this section, it's about doing something that you can prove you have broadened your understanding of or improved your existing skill level in. There's hundreds of activities you can choose from for this section, from cooking to playing an instrument, learning to drive to coaching.
- Expedition: this is the part of your DofE that you complete as part of a team (between 4-7 people doing the same level as you). For this, your group must plan, train for and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition. For most groups, this will involve walking and camping outdoors, however there are options to do your expedition differently!
- Residential: this section is only for those undertaking their Gold DofE and involves a participant undertaking a shared activity or specific course with people they don't know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment for 5 days.
The timescales that you do each section for is different depending on the level you are undertaking:
- Bronze: 6 months
- Silver: 6 months (if you have progressed from Bronze)
- Gold: 12 months (if you have progressed from Silver)
If you want to learn more about the timescales, visit this page.
Are there any costs?
Yes, but depending on your circumstances we will likely be able to access funding to ensure money is not a barrier to you taking part. The basic enrolment costs for DofE is £24 at Bronze and Silver, and £31 at Gold. These costs are paid directly to the DofE nationally to enrol you in the programme. Some Centres charge a nominal fee on top of this to cover the cost of equipment and upkeep.
There is a regional store of kit available (and some Centres also have stores) that includes; tents, cooking stoves/trangias, sleeping mats and bags, rucksacks etc. Speak with the Leader at your Centre if you are unsure.
We are committed to ensuring that the DofE is accessible to all young people, if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch on the contact information at the bottom of this page.
How do I get involved - where can I do my DofE?
In Dumfries and Galloway, we have multiple Centres that deliver the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Most of these are connected to a secondary school and how they are delivered can look different depending on the needs of the young people in each school community. If you are a school student, interested in doing your Award through your school, the best person to ask is the DofE Co-ordinator or Leaders for your school. Check out our Centres page if you are unsure of who to speak with.
At the Oasis Youth Centre in Dumfries, there is an Open Centre that runs every Tuesday night 7pm - 9pm. This is open to any young person interested in doing their DofE within the age range. We are also getting ready to trial an online DofE group for young people, if you're interested in getting involved, please get in touch.
You can enrol for your DofE by completing this enrolment form.
Who runs the DofE in Dumfries and Galloway?
The DofE is built on a network of volunteers who are giving their time to support the delivery of the Awards for young people throughout the region. In some Centres, this is through teachers, school staff, and youth workers and in others this is through parental helpers, store keepers and minibus drivers! We also have a regional Awards Association made up of volunteers who want to enhance the opportunities available to young people in the region and provide a network to support co-ordinators and leaders in the delivery of the award through training.
There's a wide range of volunteer opportunities for adults interested in supporting the delivery of the DofE in D&G, if you're interested, please sign up here.
Dumfries and Galloway Council's Youth Work Service hold the License for the delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award across all school based and several community based DofE Centres in the region, we are the largest provider for the Awards however there are organisations that deliver the DofE through their own organisation.
Phone: 01387 260243