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The Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Derwen College

What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) gives young people aged between 14 and 24 the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.

The Gold Award is a twelve month (minimum) challenge, and one which helps young people gain:

  • An internationally recognised and valued award.

    Students on Gold award expedition
    Students on Gold award expedition
  • A sense of achievement.
  • Communication skills.
  • Evidence of commitment.
  • Experience of team work.
  • Independent thinking.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Self-confidence.
  • Self-reliance.
  • The ability to face a challenge.
  • The opportunity to try something new.
  • Time management skills.


There are three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Participants usually complete the Bronze and Silver award before attempting the Gold Award.

What does the Gold Award involve?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an inclusive award, tailored to each individual. This enables participants to take part and challenge their own individual abilities. Derwen College supports each student throughout their DofE journey, providing guidance and enabling them to persevere and complete each element of the Award.

There are five sections involved in the Gold DofE Award:

1) Volunteering

Gold DofE group practice their first aid skills
Gold DofE group practice their first aid skills

This section is about helping people, the community, society, the environment or animals.

2) Skills

Encourages young people to develop practical and social skills and pursue their personal interests.

3) Physical

Helps young people achieve a healthy lifestyle and a greater physical fitness. Physical activities include a wide-range of sports or exercise including (but not limited to) athletics, football, martial arts, dance or swimming.

Students on the Gold award residential
Students on the Gold award residential

4) Expedition

This will involve planning, training for, and completing a four day/three night expedition. The expedition will include travel (this is usually walking, but could be by other modes, eg: bike or canoe), camping overnight and preparing meals using camping equipment.

5) Residential

This will involve five days and four nights away from home, meeting and working alongside new people. The residential is all about having new experiences, in a new environment and gaining new life skills.


What to expect when completing a DofE award

The DofE awards are, rightfully, a challenge. The awards push participants to learn new skills, work as a team, complete physical activities and volunteer their time to help others.

Participants have to dedicate their time to fulfilling all aspects of the award so it’s really important that young people and their parents or carers take time to discuss the DofE award and whether it is something that your young person really wants to do. Whilst staff can encourage participants to attend, the motivation to complete the award has to come from each individual.

Weekly expectations

Students on the Gold Award learning map skills

Participants are required to take part in all of the following weekly activities:

  • 1 hour per week timetabled DofE session, where students will learn skills and undertake volunteering. (Additional hours learning skill and volunteering outside of this time can also be put forward as evidence). It’s essential that participants attend these sessions every week in order to build up the evidence of their skill building and volunteering.
  • A minimum of 1 hour per week of physical activity. This can be a timetabled session or other evidenced wellbeing session.

One-off expectations

Participants are required to take part in all of the following additional sessions:

  • Off-site expedition practice days
  • On-site expedition practice and skill/volunteering day
  • Off-site expedition days
  • Off-site residential visit


There is an initial cost of £40 for Gold Award registration, which is due by 30 October 2023.

The total cost per residential student for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award is £1,142.

To secure a place on the Gold DofE Award programme, a payment of £460 is required by 28 February 2024.

We are hopeful that we can obtain sponsorship from local organisations to cover the remaining balance.

If your young person is a day student or a former student there is an additional charge for taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Please contact Steve Evans for more information and we are happy to provide a breakdown of the extra costs.

More information

If you require more information about the Gold Award, contact Steve on email: or telephone: 01691 661234 ext 383