by Rachael Kenyon
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is open to anyone aged 14-24 years old, taking part provides an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people, which is of the highest quality and widest reach. There are 3 levels which you could work towards: Bronze, Silver and Gold with 4 different sections to complete, Physical, Volunteering, Skills and Expedition. At Gold level there is a fifth section Residential.
Bracknell Forest Council hold the D of E licence and within the borough D of E is offered at 3 open centres run by the Youth Service, 6 secondary schools and 1 voluntary organisation. Currently there are 434 young enrolled onto the D of E scheme
The Youth Service oversees all the D of E centres and the ‘Open Award sessions in Bracknell Forest focus on the training for the expedition section and provides guidance and support in gaining the other sections.
Taking part in the award is a fantastic way for young people to meet new friends or even spend time doing fun activities with existing ones. Young people who are involved talk about how their confidence has increased, they have developed independence and improved fitness.The D of E scheme often relies on volunteer leaders to support the young people through the scheme and the Youth service offer training and support to these volunteers to enhance the quality of delivery to the young people.