The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a 6-month programme, in which you undergo a series of activities involving: volunteer work, physical activity and skill development.  The programme then ends with a 1-night expedition at Hadrian’s Wall.  The whole experience helps us proactively develop new skills, build new friendships and opens a wide range of opportunities in the near future.

The first phase was volunteering, giving us a chance to help the community in a variety of different ways.  We had opportunities to volunteer with the numerous different organisations for example: care homes, park runs, charity shops etc. By doing this, we were able to experience the world of work, all the while, being very rewarding.

The second phase was physical activity, where we took part in a large number of sports.  Resulting in us becoming fitter, more resilient and expanding our physical capacity, in preparation for the expedition.  Examples of this are: running, attending the gym, dance, swimming etc.

  The Third phase was skill developing; this aspect enabled us to take part in numerous activities, some that we would have never thought of doing.  We were able to develop our skills such as: cooking, textiles, animal-keeping, musical skills etc.  All of which, allowed our confidence to grow and enabled us to discover new interests.

Each of these aspects all combined to aid our performance in the expedition.  During the expedition, we needed to use our orienteering skills to figure out how to get to each checkpoint, whilst carrying our whole night’s belongings in our rucksacks. Therefore, it was essential that we developed new skills, took part in physical activity and volunteered with members of the community.

Although at moments, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award felt unattainable, once we overcame our barriers, we felt a sense of accomplishment, which in turn, developed our confidence. In addition, the award itself is a great asset to have on our CV’s and could open a lot of doors for us in the future. 

Written by Kara Hunter and Alice Cable