The Award Programme was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The aim was to motivate young people aged between 14 and 25 years to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development activities to take them through the potentially difficult period between adolescence and adulthood.
The Award’s concept is one of individual challenge, giving young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves and service to their community. Those who participate in the Award are expected to follow its requirements in a non-competitive manner with a determination to succeed, either individually or as part of a team. The Award therefore is challenging, and can be undertaken at your own pace.
The Participation Age is between 14 and 25 years. The basic structure of the Award consists of 4 mandatory sections Voluntary Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills and Physical Recreation. There are 3 levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver & Gold. Participants must complete the four mandatory sections of Voluntary Service, Adventurous Journey, Skill & Physical Recreation
Participants can undertake all three categories of the Award programme or enter directly at any of the three levels in the following age group; Bronze Award (for those over 14), Silver Award (for those over 15) and Gold Award (for those over 16 years).
The minimum period of participation is 6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver and 18 months for Gold. For each of these levels a participant is required to undertake activities under each of the four sections. At Gold level, participants undertake a Residential Project in addition.