Your most frequently asked DofE questions

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The DofE gives you the chance to do something completely new and improve on things you’re already doing. It takes you out of your comfort zone and into a place where you’ll push yourself and have amazing new experiences. You’ll build confidence, resilience, skills for work and friendship groups. And you’ll have a brilliant time doing it.

There are three levels to the award, Bronze Siler and Gold. The level you can start depends on your age. There are different timescales for each of the sections depending on the level you are doing.

There are four sections to each level of the award –

  • Skills where you learn a new skill or develop an existing one such as playing a musical instrument or designing a website.
  • Physical where you focus on your health and fitness and have to undertake a period of improvement in an existing or new sport or physical activity.
  • Volunteering to help others to make a difference to other people’s lives by giving your time.
  • Expedition undertaken under your own efforts including camping out overnight.

Gold has an additional requirement of a residential stay taking part in a shared, worthwhile activity with people you may not know. Any participants who are also doing their NCS can use this as their residential section so long as they are enrolled for the Gold award when they start.

You can start your Bronze Award when you are in year 9 if you are over the age of 13. To start Silver you must turn 15 in year 10. To start your Gold you must be at least 16.

We offer open awards which means anyone can join any one of our expeditions or training events. At the start you may not know anyone but that will soon change when you get involved in the activities so you will soon make new friends with a common aim to complete your expedition together.

Action4youth are based in Aylesbury but run training throughout Bucks and expedition further afield depending on the level. For example Gold Expeditions have to be in wild country such as the Peak District or Brecon Beacons but Bronze Expeditions are held in the Chilterns. We usually contact people by email.

You can enrol with Action4youth or your school to do your Silver or Gold and then sign up with us for your expedition. The same applies to Scouts, Guides, Cadets and other youth organisations. Costs and dates are on our website.

Even if you are enrolled with the school you can still do one of our open expeditions. Costs and dates are on our website.

You will need a rucksack, boots, sleeping bag and suitable clothing including waterproofs and your group will need your own tents. We can supply cooking stoves, compasses and maps. If you choose not to purchase these items, there is a kit store at the Green Park Centre in Aston Clinton and you can hire most of the kit you need from there. Check out their website for booking forms and more details. There is also a link on our expeditions page. You can always ask at the training session if what you already have is suitable and get advice before you buy/hire.

Yes. Unlike many others we provide transport from a central point in Aylesbury to the expedition location for Silver and Gold levels. Bronze level expeditions are all held locally and participants are dropped and collected at the expedition start/finish points by parents.

The price we advertise includes all the basic costs including travel for our Silver and Gold expeditions. Teams will have to supply all the food they take out on their expedition as well as all the fuel they use in their stoves. They must also pay for the hire of any expedition kit they use from the Kit Store and any snacks if the trip goes further afield.

Bronze participants are dropped and collected at the expedition start/finish points by parents.

Ideally you should do the full programme with your school or with us. You may be able to join us for any part of the programme without doing the whole expedition section with us but please ask to make sure.

No. Participants are able to do their expedition section with any licenced provider.

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