Volunteering gives you the chance to make a difference to people’s lives and use your skills and experience to help your local community. It gives you the opportunity to become involved in a project or with an organisation that you care about. This can be any service to individuals or the community, e.g. helping older people with new technology or supporting young people with disabilities to be more active.
Services for Young People (SfYP) is the licensed organisation (LO) for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) in Hertfordshire. This licence allows schools, learning establishments and youth projects to deliver DofE programmes to young people under our licence.
What is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award?
Anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a DofE programme at one of the three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Bronze and Silver levels both consist of four sections, with an additional fifth section (Residential) introduced at the Gold level.
The five sections are:
Physical activity is fun and it improves your health and physical fitness. This section can be about improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
Developing a skill helps you get better at something you are interested in and gives you confidence and ability to use the skill both now and later in life. This can be developing any practical and social skill or your personal interests - things that you may already be doing!
Planning and going on an expedition gives you the chance to have an adventure, work as a team, and act on your own initiative.
Gold participants must complete a fifth Residential section which involves staying away from home whilst taking part in a shared activity. This gives you the chance to learn how to work with people from different backgrounds and build confidence living in new environments.
Where can you do your Duke of Edinburgh's Award?
Services for Young People supports Hertfordshire schools and other educational establishments to offer the DofE to their students. If your school offers the DofE, this is likely to be the most suitable way for you to enrol.
If your school is not able to offer you the opportunity to enrol, you could enrol through a group such as the scouts, guides or cadets. Alternatively, you can do it with Services for Young People's DofE Hertfordshire Open Award Centre.
DofE Hertfordshire Open Award Centre
Services for Young People (SfYP) has the DofE Hertfordshire Open Award Centre, which are DofE projects run at SfYP young people’s centres across the county, open to those aged 14 to 17.
Participants attend on a regular basis throughout the year with other like-minded young people. Through these projects, young people are offered an expedition with full training and will regularly meet with a DofE leader.
The benefits of the centre-based projects include more face-to-face time with your peers and the DofE leader. The sessions provide a regular and consistent place to come together to develop a young person's DofE programme, interpersonal and social skills.
During the sessions, we support young people to learn all the skills required to successfully complete their training and qualifying expedition (one overnight camping, with two days of walking either side).
We also support young people with the Skills, Volunteering and Physical sections of the DofE, by suggesting other youth work projects they can attend or local opportunities accessible to 14 to 17 year olds.
Click below to find the DofE project near you:
DofE Hertfordshire Virtual Award
Services for Young People (SfYP) also offer the DofE Hertfordshire Virtual Award. This is online-based and you will be supported by a DofE Leader who provides advice and encouragement. You can register and start your Bronze, Silver or Gold award as a virtual participant at any point in the year.
You will receive support to be able to find activities for all sections of the award independently, including the expedition and required training.
The Virtual Award is ideal if you are over the age of 18, have missed the deadline to be able to enrol on the Open Award Centre or have other commitments and are unsure of being able to regularly commit to attending elsewhere. Additionally if you previously started your DofE Award elsewhere but did not finish it, then we can transfer your eDofE account to be managed through The Virtual Award and provide you with the support and guidance you need to be able to complete your award.
From the parent of a young person to a Senior Youth Worker about support the young person received while completing his Silver DofE with SfYP
"[Name of worker] has been nothing but exceptional from day one. He spent countless hours walking us through the process, helping us navigate the various steps and enabling [young person] to go through. He is an outstanding leader. I would like to commend his patience, professionalism, dedication and due diligence. My son wouldn't have been able to complete [the award] without him.”
Want to take part?
Services for Young People (SfYP) run DofE at young people’s centres across the county from the autumn term through to the summer term. Sessions for our Open Award Centres have already started for 2023/2024, but spaces are still available in some areas.
For more information please see our FAQ page or contact the SfYP DofE Team:
Duke of Edinburgh's Award national website
More information about the DofE can be found on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award national website: www.dofe.org.