The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Girlguiding has joined forces with the Duke of Edinburgh's award so you can complete this fantastic challenge as part of your guiding experience.

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What is the DofE?

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is an internationally recognised challenge for young members. DofE is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities open to girls and young women aged 14 to 24 or aged 13 and in the school year they turn 14.

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Why do the DofE?

For the hundreds of thousands of young people who take part each year, the benefits of achieving a DofE Award at any level are endless. DofE is about helping you along the path to a productive and prosperous future. As many of participants say, it’s life-changing.

Getting started

  • Bronze – for those aged 14+ years
  • Silver – for those aged 15+ years
  • Gold – for those aged 16+ years

If you aren’t 14 yet but are in the school year in which your peer group turn fourteen, you may be able to start a Bronze DofE programme – check with your DofE Leader.

Similarly, if you aren’t 15 yet, but are in the school year in which your peer group turn fifteen, you may be able to start a Silver DofE programme – check with your DofE Leader.

There are three progressive levels of the award - Bronze, Silver and Gold - that vary in length and commitment. For each level you need to undertake four sections; volunteering, physical, skills-development and an expedition. For the Gold level you will also need to take part in a residential event.

For each of your DofE sections, you need to choose an activity. This could be something you’re already doing or something you are interested in. Pick something you’ll enjoy – it’ll make it easier to stick at it! You can find lots of activity ideas on the DofE website.

The cost of registering to do a DofE programme is £25.50 for Bronze and Silver and £32.50 for Gold.

DofE fits in closely with many of the other awards and qualifications available to you through guiding, in particular the Queen’s Guide award. If you are working towards your Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award and Queen’s Guide award you could do one residential to count towards both awards – you just need to make sure it's long enough.

Before you decide to count something for both awards, you’ll need to make sure your DofE leader and Queen’s Guide award coordinator are happy with your plans. It’s also worth noting an activity you’re doing for one award might count towards a section of the other, but not necessarily count for all of it.

For example, the residential for Service in Guiding element two can count towards your volunteering section of DofE. But as you need to volunteer over a period of time for DofE (minimum 12 months) this can’t be counted as your entire DofE volunteering section.

Make sure you read both award syllabuses carefully, so you know what you need to do to fulfil each award’s requirements.

For the volunteering, skills and physical sections of the DofE award, you need to make sure you are doing on average an hour a week during the time period. For more information on the timescales, chat to your leader or take a look at the DofE website.

DofE Timescales

It will usually take you at least 6 months to complete your Bronze programme.

– Volunteering section: 3 months
– Physical section: 3 months
– Skills section: 3 months
– Expedition section: 2 days/1 night

You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections. It’s your choice which one and, 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 choose your activity and set your goals for each section.

It will take you at least 6 months for Silver if you’ve already achieved your Bronze, or 12 months if you’ve jumped straight into Silver.

– Volunteering section: 6 months
– Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
– Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights

If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

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. 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.

– Volunteering section: 12 months
– Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
– Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
– Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.

If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

Get involved

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Enrol

Want to get involved? It all starts by clicking below!

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Stories

Don't just take our word for it! Read stories from our members about their experiences of completing their DofE.

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Find out more

Want to learn more about the award? The DofE website is full of ideas and information to help you succeed.

DofE website

Leader Support

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Get involved as a leader

Broaden your own and girls’ horizons supporting the DofE.

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Get some support

Looking for some support? Join an online drop in with Jo, region DofE Adviser.

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Noticeboard

Find out about events and opportunities.

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Young external volunteers

Does a young DofE participant want to volunteer with your unit? Find out more about young external volunteers here.

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Do you have a question or query about the Duke of Edinburgh's award? Contact Jo, our region DofE adviser at dofe@girlguidinglaser.org.uk, or use the form below.

Congratulations!

Dofe Bronze
Bronze Award

Evelyn Yarwood, Sophie Ellis, Eva Manson Brown and Tejiri Akpoveta

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Dofe Silver
Silver Award

Amelia Tookey and Dionne Rapley

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Dofe Gold
Gold Award

Lucy Balharrie, Amy Hill and Laura Davenport

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