Your Students' Union is offering students the chance to complete your Gold DofE Award through us!
By getting involved in your Duke of Edinburgh, you're in for an amazing adventure and masses of fun as you take part in a range of activities, all leading to the achievement of an Award renowned by employers for the qualities young people have who've achieved a DofE Award.
Its balanced programme develops the whole person - mind, body and soul, in an environment of social interaction and team working.
There are three progressive levels of DofE programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Duke of Edinburgh and COVID-19
The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that a lot of opportunities have now moved online, but don’t worry you can still complete your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The DofE have made several changes to the Award to make it a little easier to complete your Award in the current situation:
- Participants can now volunteer for family members, for example by mentoring or coaching younger siblings or adults.
- Participants can now change section activities more than once. Time spent on previous activities will still count towards completion.
The DofE app
The DofE have launched an app for you to complete Activity Planners & upload evidence, making it easier to complete these remotely. This is available for free from the App Store and Google Play.
If you have any concerns about what section ideas you could use, please contact us: [email protected].
Click on each category for more information about this opportunity.
So why should you do your DofE? It’s hard to list all the benefits of achieving your Gold Award, so here’s a quick snapshot:
- You’ll gain skills that employers’ value, which you can easily reference on your CV (see the video below on how your DofE skills and experience can help you make a great impression.)
- Stand out from the crowd by highlighting activities that are related to your future career or studies in college, university and job applications
- Get healthier and happier
- Meet incredible people and make lasting friendships
- Have amazing new experiences
- Find talents you didn’t know you had
- Become more confident and independent
- Make memories that will last a lifetime
- Have fun!
If you did a previous level, you can choose the same activity for Gold, but you need to show development in it. It's best to try something new!
You’ll spend 12 months on your Volunteering section.
For Physical and Skills you must spend 12 months on one and six months on the other - you decide which way round you do it.
Your expedition will be for four days and three nights and should take place in 'wild country'. The expedition should last at least 8 hours during the daytime (at least 4 of which must be spent journeying. You also have to undertake at least one practice expedition as part of your training. This may be more closely supervised than your final assessed expedition, which is remotely supervised to develop independence and a sense of personal responsibility.
The big difference at Gold is you'll also do a Residential section - staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don't know. It's great fun and a real chance to do something different!
If you’ve jumped straight into your Gold DofE programme you’ll need to do a further six months either volunteering or whichever one of your physical or skills activities you spent the most time on.
For Gold, you'll need to do your programme for at least 12 months if you've achieved your Silver Award, or 18 months if you've started at Gold level without doing your Silver - even if you've done Bronze.
(Direct entrants must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Phsyical or Skills sections.)
One of the exciting steps of your adventure is deciding what you are going to do as part of your DofE programme. There are so many different activities to choose from, and there is lots of information to help you identify the activity you want to do, who's assessing you and what goals you're setting for yourself.
There is a fantastic list of activities to choose from but, if you can’t find exactly what you want to do, have a chat to your Leader - most activities can count towards your DofE. All that is asked is that any new activity is checked with your Licensed Organisation (that’s us) to make sure it’s counted for the right section and that you’ve set yourself enough of a challenge.
To achieve an Award, you need to prove what activities you’ve been doing, show how you’ve progressed and you’ve met the goals you set for each section.
eDofE is an online system which enables you to record your DofE programme and activities, and prove what you’ve done in loads of different ways.
You can add as much evidence as you like but the minimum is an Assessor’s Report for every section. This should include your name, the activity that you did, the dates between which you did the activity and then a short report about what you achieved.
Achieving your Gold Award is a big deal. It shows that you have the skills, determination and mentality to really succeed, so it’s only right that you get a proper celebration of your achievement. The Gold Award Presentations (or GAPs for short) are just that.
Your Gold Award Presentation is likely to be in London at St James's Palace – presentations happen around eight times a year.
You can expect to receive an invite to a GAP around 8-12 months after the D of E have received your approved Gold notification form from us as your Licensed Organisation.
Case Study - Ben
“Starting on a fast-track Silver award during my A-Level studies, I was a little lost as to which skills the Duke of Edinburgh Award would develop and how it would benefit me. Looking back on this now that I have finished my Gold Award, I highly regret not taking part in it sooner. Of the many benefits of the experience, my self-motivation has grown massively, mostly due to the process of expeditions, residential, skills, activities and volunteering pushing my mental and physical boundaries. This gave me an idea of what I was capable of and what was possible to do.
The residential was a big hurdle for me, not being the most social of people and when thrown into a week with people you do not know, taking part in something I had never experienced before, I still remember it very clearly with fond memories. The volunteering not only did the same, but gave me a greater understanding of the working world, and eventually led me to gain a paid position in a similar role.
The expeditions, however, were the biggest learning point for me, in physical capability, navigating and survival skills but also in teamwork. My expedition members and I have a connection now that has not faded, despite moving to different areas or onto different things. Every time I meet one of my now life-long friends we reminisce of the hardships we faced in whether it be navigating flash-flooding, mountains or marshes, but also of the amazing experience we had climbing huge mountains and walking great distances. I do believe that DofE has made my CV stand out. The skills gained throughout all the parts have been used in every job I have used, whether that be navigation, people-skills or self-motivation. I would recommend that anyone takes part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award if they are looking to get ahead in the working world, push their boundaries or make life-long connections.”