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The Cambridgeshire Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Open Award Centre is a Registered Charity (Number 1190796) that is directly licenced by the DofE Charity to deliver all the levels of the DofE Award to young people in Cambridgeshire. It is the only independent Open Award Centre in Cambridgeshire, meaning we can help young people from anywhere in the county and from any educational establishment and even those who have full time jobs or who are home schooled.
The Cambridgeshire DofE Open Award Centre builds on over 20 years of successful experience in offering DofE programmes to young people in the local area from the St Ives DofE Open Group, which it has replaced. The current DofE Manager has grown the programme from 8 participants in 1996, to a current annual cohort of around 100 young people at Bronze, Silver and Gold level of DofE.
The Award Centre benefits from the continued commitment of a strong team of experienced volunteer leaders and helpers, many of whom hold recognised outdoor qualifications, who are vital to the successful operation of our programmes.
We presently operate out of the Broad Leas centre in St Ives for most of our training and our expeditions can take teams to wild country anywhere in the UK.
As an Open Award group, all are welcome to join us to complete a DofE award. Young people can join from Year 9 at Bronze level, moving to Silver level in Year 10 and Gold level after their 16th birthday. Young people are accepted at any level provided they meet the age requirements; they do not have to work their way through all the Award levels.
The Award is built by the young people themselves, depending on their own interests and activities. It is split into 4 sections at Bronze and Silver Level and 5 sections at Gold Level. Each section has equal merit and the whole award cannot be gained without completing all the sections. Young people must take part in a Volunteering activity, a Physical activity, a Skill activity and an Expedition. At Gold a Residential experience is also a requirement. Many activities that young people already do can be used to help them to gain their DofE Award, e.g. Music lessons = Skill, football club = Physical or helping out at cubs = Volunteering.
We monitor and guide young people in their choices and support them along the way until they have fully completed their award. We operate a full training programme for the Expedition section of the DofE Award at all levels, including day walks and practice expeditions. Expeditions at Bronze take place in neighbouring counties; at Silver we go slightly further away, choosing areas like the Peak District, Shropshire Hills or the Pennines; and at Gold all expeditions must take place in “Wild Country”, such as the Dales, the Lake District and in Wales. In addition to the traditional walking expeditions, we also do cycling at Bronze and Silver levels.
Any DofE Award at any level is an important part of a young person’s personal development and can benefit a C.V. as it shows a real commitment to a range of activities over a period of time. All DofE Awards are looked on very highly by UCAS and employers, and a recent survey showed that employers regard DofE second only to exam passes. The Gold Award is the culmination of the range of Awards and is particularly highly regarded because of the time and effort it requires to complete. It really is worthwhile taking on the challenge and making yourself stand out from the crowd.
Recruitment generally takes place in the Autumn term with expeditions happening between March and the following October. But can take place at any point provided the age requirements are met.
If you would like to find out more, without any commitment, please do get in touch.
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