University of Plymouth Students’ Union (UPSU) are proud to announce that they are now a licensed centre of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). UPSU will be able to offer existing or potential Plymouth University students the opportunity to embrace the DofE experience. Students who have previously registered but not completed their Gold (or other) award can continue their DofE with the Students’ Union.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-24. DofE provides young people the opportunity to experience new activities or develop existing skills. DofE is the world’s leading achievement award for young people, delivered in over 140 countries worldwide. It was identified in a survey of the UK’s major employers as the most important ‘enrichment’ activity a young person could undertake, developing those key attributes an employer looks for; leadership, teamwork, self-motivation, communication, confidence, consideration and the ability to learn.
There are three levels that can be obtained: Bronze, Silver or Gold. The programme is split in four sections (five if you're going for Gold) encompassing: Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and for Gold, a Residential.
There are numerous benefits to students; in particular building self-confidence, learning new skills and team working. The award encourages participants to engage in brand new experiences, discover talents, challenge themselves and meet like-minded people. Employees recognise and value the skills and attributes DofE Award holders bring to the workplace. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award makes young people more employable and prepares them for work.
Alan Dodd, DofE Operations Officer said:
"We (The Charity) work with a very high percentage of Secondary schools in the South West but very few organisations who work with the 18-25 age group. By working with the University of Plymouth Students’ Union we can offer the opportunity for current DofE participants to complete their already started Awards, and move up to the next level if they wish. It also enables those young people who haven’t had the opportunity to do DofE the chance to start an Award. UPSU provide a vast number of clubs and societies, many of which can be used to fulfil sections of a DofE Award, and the DofE team at UPSU are an enthusiastic group of people who are dedicated to providing exciting opportunities for the students at the University. We’re really looking forward to working with UPSU for many years to come. Exciting times!"Isabel Huggett, Student and Gold Award participant said:
"I started my DofE when I was in secondary school and immediately saw the benefits. It made me try new things, improved my confidence and even got me into exercise, and enjoy it! Unfortunately, life really got in the way and I kept on missing opportunities to complete my Silver and Gold. Once I started at University I realised how important something like DofE could be for my employability skills. UPSU becoming an approved centre meant I could do everything I needed to do from the campus! This was great news! The team have been fantastic in sorting everything out for me and making sure I don’t miss out on any opportunities. They are able to help with any problems you encounter whether you are just looking into starting DofE, or half way through like I was. It looks like I will have finished my Gold by the end of the year and I am so happy about that!"
Louise Francis, UPSU Societies and Activities Manager said:
“The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great way to offer our students more opportunities and get acknowledged for the hard work they do. It can link to our volunteering department, clubs and societies, but the great thing is students get to choose what they do.”