Gillingham (Dorset) DofE Open Award Centre is licensed to deliver the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award through Dorset Council. It is run entirely by volunteers and is self-funding.

Registered Charity Number 1178953. Contact the Charity Commission for more information.

Gift Aid Number: ZD05035

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The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award for 14–24 year olds, with over 490,000 young people currently doing their DofE in the UK. 

Any young person aged 14-24 can take part. Young people doing their DofE programme complete volunteering, physical and skills activities and an expedition to achieve Bronze and Silver Awards, plus a residential section to achieve a Gold Award. 

  • Bronze can start as early as the July before going into Yr9
  • Silver can start as early as the July before going into Yr10
  • 16th birthday for Gold (Expedition training can start earlier)

You can start your Silver or Gold Award without completing any previous levels (this is known as ‘direct entry’) – if you meet the age requirements (i.e., 15 for Silver, and 16 for Gold) plus additional time and training requirements

Enrolment to all levels is possible at any time but there are key dates that you must attend to then be eligible for the DofE qualifying expedition. You will need to review 21-22 overview, with costs and contact the Centre.


At Gillingham School in the Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH) in P2, term time Tuesdays, after school from 3.15 to 5pm

Each level also must attend specific dates detailed on the 21-22 overview, with costs

  • New participants are invited in to discuss their own DofE programme shortly after enrolment.
  • Bronzes must attend regular Tuesday evenings in the summer term to plan and prepare for the assessed expedition.
  • Silvers and Golds do their expedition planning over one or two full days. 

All term time Tuesdays are open to drop in for help/enquiry


Complete the application form

The participation fee from April 1, 2022, is £39 for Bronze/Silver; £49 for Gold. The fee cannot be refunded if the online account is opened or older than two weeks.

Accredited First Aid (6hr) Certification and Expedition costs are extra to the participation fee.

Expedition commitment is essential to health and safety. Attendance falling below expectation is likely to result in your expedition being postponed to the following year. Dates are fixed well before the academic year of delivery, so please check.

Tents, Stoves, and other team equipment is provided. This is made clear on our Kit list

Some personal equipment may be available to borrow. Always ask.

Please speak to us in confidence if costs appear prohibitive. 

It is for the individual to choose and to check that any activity undertaken for the DofE programme is appropriately managed and insured, unless the activity is directly managed or organised by their DofE group, such as the Expedition. We’ve lots of ideas and contacts but cannot organise them for you.

Successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible. 


Please annotate any payment clearly with the participant’s name and what for!

BACs – Bank: Gillingham DofE OAC. sort code 30.98.97 (Lloyds) a/c 47830260

Cheque – made out to Gillingham DofE OAC.


Gillingham DofE OAC Mission Statement

DofE Safeguarding code of behaviour for adults

Guidance for safer recruitment and working practice for those working with young people May 2019

Bullying Policy

Participation Statement

Complaints Procedure