Are you thinking about your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) or already started? Or maybe you’re a parent or carer, finding out about DofE or wanting to support your son or daughter through their programme? Here’s everything you need to know.

The DofE is a life-changing experience. A fun time with friends. An opportunity to discover new interests and talents. A tool to develop essential skills for life and work. A recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a fully inclusive programme for 14-25 year old’s. You can take on the challenge at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. They involve helping the community or environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity. You can find out more about these activities below.

Any young person can do their DofE – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries. For more details on the programme, or if you have any questions contact us by emailing

DofE at Mahdlo

The DofE programme is available to all Mahdlo members aged 14 years and over. As a Mahdlo member you’ll have access to a variety of opportunities to support young people to help them complete each section.

Sections and Activities

There are four main sections of a DofE programme; Physical, Skills, Volunteering, and Expedition. At Gold participants will also complete a Residential section.


For your physical activity you can choose any sport, dance or fitness activity you want! Anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity.


For your skills activity you need to choose an activity that will allow you to prove you have broadened your understanding and increased your expertise in your chosen skill. It should not be a physical activity, for example horse riding, as this counts towards your Physical section, however, you could choose to learn about caring for horses.


Volunteering is simple. It’s about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment, or animals.

Your volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation – for example, right here at Mahdlo!

Mahdlo offers a number of opportunities to complete the volunteering section of the award.


For your Expedition section, this is where you’ll bring all your skills together. You will need to plan, train for, and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition. You have to do the correct training for your level and mode of travel, at least one practice expedition, a qualifying expedition (the one that is assessed) and a final presentation. Once you finish that – you completed your award!

Your expedition must be completed by your own physical efforts (but you have loads of choices, not just on foot!) with minimal external intervention and without motorised assistance. Your route should also be a continuous journey.

To help you choose and then find the right kit for your expeditions, the DofE Expedition Kit Guide offers key information, tips from the experts and money saving ideas.

Residential (Gold only)

For your Residential section you need to undertake a shared activity or specific course with people you don’t know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment. They’re an exciting opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends, and evenings are often as much a part of the experience as daytime activities.

This section offers a high degree of flexibility but it must be done with an organised group. Mahdlo can offer support to help you set your residential up.

You must join it individually and not with an existing group of friends or as part of a school or youth group trip. You will be staying away – anything from an activity centre or camp to a boat or barge – but you cannot stay with friends or relatives.