Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award ( DofE), is a youth awards programme founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It has since expanded to 144 nations. It’s the world’s largest youth achievement award.
In recent years Prince Edward has taken on the role of leading the Dofe award. He visited our DofE team at Trinity in January 2018.
The awards recognise young people for completing a series of self-improvement exercises. The award has three levels Bronze and Silver and Gold. The team at Trinity helps students to achieve awards at all three levels.
The Bronze Award:
Up to 50 students each year complete this award.
All candidates undergo 6 months of voluntary work in their community and 3 months learning a new skill or developing a current skill further. As well as this candidates commit to improving their physical fitness in preparation for their expeditions.
To prepare Bronze students for their expeditions Trinity staff deliver a number of training sessions including basic first aid, the countryside code, packing a rucksack, cooking on a stove and tent erecting.
The Bronze candidates complete 3 expeditions. A training expedition where navigation using an OS 1:25k map and compass is modelled by the DOFE team who are outdoor leaders. A practice expedition where the candidates hike independently of adults in groups to a campsite and back in two days with one night sleeping in tents preparing their own food. An assessed expedition where candidates complete the same activities and are assessed by staff members in order to complete the award.
The Silver Award:
Most students who pass the Bronze Award go on to the Silver Award. Around 30 students each year pass the Silver award. To do this Silver candidates undergo another 6 months of voluntary service, develop one of their skills over 6 months and commit to improving their on-going fitness.
The Silver expeditions consist of a practice and an assessment that take place over 3 days and 2 nights each. Candidates work in groups independently of staff to navigate to two different campsites covering a total distance of around 30-40 km.
Students who miss out on a place for the Bronze award have the opportunity to join the Silver Award as a direct entry candidate. This is achieved by completing the same 3 sections but for double the length of time. They complete the same expeditions as other Silver candidates.
The Gold Award:
The Gold award is the most challenging award. Participants have to be over 16 when they start and the award takes about 18 months to complete. Trinity students start in year 12.
Candidates need to complete the sections described in Bronze and Silver sections but for a longer period of time, over the past few years students have volunteered in schools, hospitals, youth groups, animal sanctuaries and charities. They’ve used there experiences to support their University and job applications.
In addition they have to complete a residential course, in the past years students have attended residential course ranging from working in and Orphanage in South Africa to paintballing in East Anglia.
The expeditions last for 4 days and should include wild country which is terrain over 600mE, for that reason we practise in North Wales and assess the student’s skills in Cumbria. The DofE team works closely with the candidates to train them for their adventure.