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Community Learning and Development

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities, designed to support the personal and social development of young people, regardless of gender, background or ability.  It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake exciting constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time.

Award Groups are run by adults, many of whom are volunteers, including youth workers, instructors, assessors and individuals from the community.

Anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  There are four sections at Bronze & Silver level and five at Gold.

  • Bronze (for those aged 14 and over)
  • Silver (for those aged 15 and over)
  • Gold (for those aged 16 and over)

DofE programmes

With assistance from DofE Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

  • Volunteering (undertaking service to individuals or the community)
  • Physical (improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities)
  • Skills (developing practical and social skills and personal interests)
  • Expedition (planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.)
  • At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home doing a shared activity.

Our guiding principals

At the DofE we strive to achieve our mission through personal development programmes and the assessment and presentation of Awards.

All our programmes are driven by the following ten guiding principals, which are at the heart of everything we do.

  • Non-competitive
  • Achievable by all
  • Voluntary
  • Personal Development
  • Personalised
  • Balanced
  • Progressive
  • Achievement focussed
  • Demand commitment
  • Enjoyable

How long does it take?

Each section must be done for a minimum period of time for an average of an hour a week over this time – to achieve an Award young people must show persistence, commitment and personal development.  It’s not something that can be achieved through a short burst of enthusiasm one weekend!  Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants.

There is no real time limit when it comes to completing a DofE Programme.  As long as participants are under 25 years old when they complete all their activities in their programme, they’re free to work as a pace that they’re comfortable with to achieve their Award.

The following chart shows the minimum time participants must do their programmes for (expressed in months).  Direct entrants are young people who have not achieved the previous level of the Award.

BRONZE (14+ years old)

BRONZE (14+ years old)
Volunteering Physical Skills Expedition
3 months 3 months 3 months Plan, train for and complete a 2 day, 1 night expedition

All participants must undertake a further 3 months in the Volunteering, Physical or Skills section.

SILVER (15+ years old)

BSILVER (15+ years old)
Volunteering Physical Skills Expedition
6 months One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months Plan, train for and complete a 3 day, 2 night expedition

Direct entrants must undertake a further 6 months in the Volunteering, or the longer of the Physical or Skills section.

GOLD (16+ years old)

GOLD (16+ years old)
Volunteering Physical Skills Expedition Residential
12 months One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months Plan, train for and complete a 4 day, 3 night expedition Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights

Direct entrants must undertake a further 6 months in the Volunteering, or the longer of the Physical or Skills section.

The sections

Like most things in life, young people get out of a DofE programme what they put in.  So to ensure participants get the maximum benefit out of their activities and achieve their Awards, we’ve devised the process below.  The process has four key stages that apply to all sections and activities:


1. Preparation
Participants research the activity they would like to do and agree it with their Leader.

2. Training
There will regularly be times when a participant’s choice of activity requires them to take a course, simple induction or structured training before starting their activity.  For the Physical, Skills & Residential sections, training may be the whole activity.

3. Activity
The most important and enjoyable part of any section – the actual doing bit!  Each activity must be done for the minimum time given.

4. Assessment
To complete a DofE programme every activity undertaken must be successfully completed and assessed.


Activities are placed in specific sections for a reason and all activities must fit into one of the sections.  When participants are making their choices its essential that you’re on hand to advise them and support them in their decisions.

If you’re unsure about a certain activity – whether it’s okay to do or simply which section it belongs in – contact your OA who will advise you.

The key when choosing activities is to ignite a participant’s imagination.  Get them really thinking about things they’d love to try or do.  But equally keep their feet firmly planted in the real world.

Where is the DofE run?

DofE programmes are delivered through various open groups throughout the Western Isles. 

Award Group Contacts:

DofE Award Group Contacts
Award Group Award Leader Email Address
Air Cadets Group Donald Ross Macleod drm1731@hotmail.co.uk
First Steps Open Group Ally Williamson ally.williamson@cne-siar.gov.uk
Greater Broadbay Anne Ramsay annem.ramsay@virgin.net
Harris Open Group Mairi Maciver mairi_maciver@cne-siar.gov.uk
Lochs Open Group Sharon Reid sharon.reid@cne-siar.gov.uk
Ness Open Group Chris Barrowman chrisbarrowman@btinternet.com
Nicolson Institute Open Group Janet Fox
Nikki Arthur
jcfox1m@gnes.net
narthur1m@gnes.net
Stornoway Open Group Anji Macritchie
Alice Macleod
angela-macritchie@cne-siar.gov.uk
alice-macleod@cne-siar.gov.uk
1st Stornoway Girls Brigade Catherine Jacek user375951@aol.com
Western Isles Explorer Scouts Steve Hartley-Oliver dc@scoutswesternisles.com
Westside Open Group Kenny Smith failte30@gmail.com
Uig Open Group Janet Macleod janet@seatrek.co.uk
Uist Open Group Catriona Morrison catriona.morrison@cne-siar.gov.uk

 

How is an Award achieved?

Young people will achieve a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award if they show persistence, commitment and personal development over a period of time.  To complete a DofE programme every activity undertaken must be successfully completed and assessed.  Once completed, your Operating Authority will authorise Bronze & Silver Awards.  Gold Awards are authorised by your DofE Regional/Country Office.

 

Getting more detailed information

 

Western Isles Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award Enrolment Form

  Enrolment Form (PDF, 110K)

Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award Reports

Contact details for Western Isles

DofE Manager:

Neil Macleod
Principal Officer Community Education
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
22-24 Point Street
Stornoway
Isle of Lewis HS1 2XF

Tel: 01851 822714
Mobile: 07717 816478
e-mail:

DofE Assistant Manager:

Anji Macritchie
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
22-24 Point Street
Stornoway
Isle of Lewis HS1 2XF

Tel: 01851 822714
Mob: 07717 816474
e-mail:

DofE Co-ordinator :

Alice Macleod
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
22-24 Point Street
Stornoway
Isle of Lewis HS1 2XF

Tel: 01851 822714
Mobile: 0799074262
e-mail: