A DofE programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. You 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 two levels at the moment, Bronze or Silver which lead to a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

By taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award you will improve a range of skills like leadership, teamwork, and independence. You will learn new skills which will develop confidence; you might find a new passion for something you enjoy. You will get fitter. You’ll find yourself helping people or the community You will meet all the challenges of completing an expedition! You right it will look good on you CV but more important than that you will develop skills you didn’t know you had and learn a lot about yourself. Employees and Universities recognise the Duke of Edinburgh Award and know the commitment and determination you have to have to achieve it.

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. In Year 10 you are invited to take part at Bronze level. A Bronze DofE programme has 4 sections, Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. You need be at least 14 years old to start a Bronze programme and you must do a minimum of 3 months activity for each of the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections, and plan, train for and do a 2 day (1 night) Expedition. You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections. It’s your choice which one. In Years 11 and 12 you can go on to achieve your Silver Award, the next step up from Bronze… you need to be at least 15 to start doing your Silver DofE programme. A Silver DofE programme has 4 sections, Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. You need to do at least 6 months Volunteering and a minimum of 6 months on either Physical or Skills and 3 months on the other. It’s up to you which one you do for longer.

The Expedition section involves planning, training for and doing a 3 day (2 night) expedition. If you start the Silver without doing Bronze first you’ll have to do an extra 6 months volunteering or doing whichever of the Physical or Skills sections you have spent more time on. Though you can change your mind later, you should decide which section you want to do for longer at the beginning. Knowing how long you’re going to do it for will help you to set your aims for the sections.

To find out more check out the website http://www.dofe.org

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