The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, or DofE, is a programme of activities that can be undertaken by anyone aged 14 to 25, regardless of their personal ability.
It is designed to encourage people to make the most of their leisure time by guiding them through a number of activities to inspire, guide and support them in their self-development and recognise their achievements.
The concept of the DofE is simple; there are three levels of Award to achieve: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
What does the Award involve?
At each level the participant completes four sections, with an additional section needed for the Gold Award. At Gold level, participants complete a residential section, which involves staying and working away from home to do a shared activity.
At each level, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas (with help from adult leaders and volunteers):
Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.
Physical: improving in an area of fitness, sport or dance activities.
Skills: developing practical and social skills, and personal interests.
Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
Each section must be completed over a minimum period of time. It is monitored and assessed by someone with a knowledge of that particular activity.
How long will it take?
It will take you about six months to complete a Bronze Award, between six and nine months to achieve Silver, and between 12 and 18 months to achieve your Gold.
Voluntary: You make a free choice to enter the programme and commit your own free time to undertake activities.
Non-competitive: It is a personal challenge and not a competition against others.
Available to all: Regardless of ability or experience the DofE is suitable for everyone.
Flexible: Design your own programme geared to your own personal circumstances.
Balanced: By choosing activities from different sections you undertake a wide ranging programme.
Progressive: At each level the DofE programme demands more time and more commitment.
Achievement focused: Before starting, you set your own goals and aim for improvement.
A Marathon, not a sprint: Your Award cannot be completed in a short burst of enthusiasm; you will need to show commitment.
Enjoyable: Young people who get involved with DofE find taking part fun and rewarding.
What are the benefits of DofE?
Taking part should provide you with opportunities to develop:
- self belief
- self confidence
- a sense of identity
- an awareness of your potential
- new talents
- new relationships
- an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
How can I get involved?
Please contact Sarah Williams, Principal Youth Worker (DofE Support) on 0151 666 3960 / 07917 070 849 or by email.
- If you are still at school, ask a teacher whether the DofE is offered as an after school activity.
- If you are a member of a uniformed organisation such as scouts, guides or cadets, ask your leader about doing DofE within the organisation.
- If you attend a youth club, ask a youth worker if DofE is one of the activities offered. Wirral Council's Youth Support Service provides DofE at its Youth Hubs in each of the 4 Districts - ask one of the Youth Workers for more information.
Do it yourself
You don't have to be part of an organisation to do DofE. You or a group of friends can join independently.
eDofE is an interactive online system that helps young people manage their DofE programme and allows leaders to monitor progress, at times and places convenient to both of them.
It is part of an effort to make sure that eDofE is accessible to every young person involved in the programme, regardless of their ability, background or location.
Young people can record their DofE activities in different ways – from photos and videos to blogs and pdfs, which can be uploaded directly from computers, cameras and mobile phones. Recording activities in these ways allows DofE participants to demonstrate how they are working towards their current award and what they've successfully completed.
For more information, visit the DofE website.