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Duke of Edinburgh's Award

What is D of E?

A D of E programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You just 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 achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you're going for Gold). These sections are:

  • Volunteering - helping someone, your community or the environment 
  • Physical - becoming fitter through sport, dance or fitness activity
  • Skills - developing existing talents or trying something new
  • Expedition - planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey
  • Residential (Gold only) - staying and working away from home as part of a team

The length of time you have to spend on each section depends on the level of programme you're doing.  You'll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only).

But here's the best bit - you get to choose what you do!
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.

D of E Levels

There are three levels of programme you can do which, when you've 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 it takes to complete them, how challenging it is and the minimum age you can start.

Depending on your age, you are free to start at any level but most people prefer to try for Bronze and work upwards.   There are age restrictions for each one so it makes sense to build yourself up rather than dive in at the deep end. Don’t forget, you have until your 25th birthday to complete whichever level you’re working on and achieve an Award. The table below shows the different overall age restrictions and time requirements for each level.

LevelMinimum age you can startMinimum Length of timeLength of time if you have achieved the previous level
Bronze14 years6 monthsn/a
Silver15 years12 months6 months
Gold16 years18 months12 months

Why do it? Good question!

Because, from the first day to the last it’s a real adventure.  Every section gives you something different - that's the fun of it!  You’ll enjoy loads of new experiences, discover talents you never thought you had, challenge yourself and meet loads of people just like you.  Plus you’ll do things you love and get a kick out of.  It’s a real buzz!

Then there’s all the other stuff
...like the fact that achieving an Award will give you skills, confidence and a view on life that everyone is looking for, from employers to colleges and universities.
...you're getting recognised for doing things you want to do (and may even be doing already).
...plus you’ll make a difference to other people’s lives and your community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.
And above all, it's a great laugh! 

The question should really be why wouldn't you bother!

If you want to get involved in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at Sandleheath Sea Scouts (we normally meet once a month) then phone Pat Savage, DofE Award Group Leader, on 01725 510397 or email her on  <address hidden>  and ask for an application form and more information.  We look forward to welcoming you to our D of E group.

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