The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, is a youth programme for young people founded in 1956 by Prince Philip. There are three levels of programme you can do which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold. DofE helps you stand out from the crowd when you apply for college, university or jobs. It’s open to anyone aged 14-24 (not just fans of the great outdoors).
Young people complete a personal programme of activities in four sections (those working towards their Gold award also have to take part in a residential activity).
The Volunteering Section
Volunteering gives you the chance to make a difference to people’s lives and use your skills and experience to help your local community. It gives you the opportunity to become involved in a project or with an organisation that you really care about. Volunteering is all about making a difference – both to you and other people’s lives. Nine reasons to volunteer.
From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there’s an endless list of the types of projects you can get involved in. Download a list of volunteering ideas.
You can set up your own volunteering activity as long as it meets the DofE’s requirements and it’s approved by your Leader. You can also volunteer in a team, which might be an easier way to find an activity if you can identify a local need you can help with. For the DofE you must not volunteer for a business and, if you are fundraising, you can not benefit directly from the money yourself. You’ll might find the Frequently Asked Questions useful in identifying types of activities that can count.
Perhaps the best place to start is to ask yourself three questions:
- What issues/causes/organisations am I interested in?
- What do I want to gain from my volunteering?
- What time and what skills do I have to offer?
You also need to consider what you are going to enjoy the most – if you don’t enjoy it you’ll struggle to stick with it.
If you need help please get in touch with us at the Uckfield Volunteer Centre. We can match your interests to local charities and community groups who could really benefit from your time and skills.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award has been running at Uckfield College for upwards of 30 years. Students can start their Bronze Award in Year 9. For further information contact Allan Strong – email DofE@uckfield.college or phone 07591 717553 (between 11am and 8pm).