For the past seven decades, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has inspired and transformed the lives of millions of young people from all walks of life – and the best part is, you can be a part of it. The world’s leading youth achievement award provides life-changing opportunities for all 14-24 year-olds with a programme of real adventure from beginning to end. More than 1,800 organisations across the UK – including schools, colleges, universities, youth clubs, young offender institutions and businesses – help to run over 13,200 DofE centres and there are many in the Portishead/Gordano area, including secondary schools and uniformed youth organisations including the Scouts and Guides. There are three levels of programme you can do which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The main differences between them are the minimum length of time they take to complete, how challenging they are and the minimum age you can start. Depending on which level you choose, you achieve your Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four or five sections, including Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and Residential. From volunteering to physical activities, life skills to expeditions and helping the community, achieving a DofE Award is a passport to a brighter future, valued by employers and universities. On your journey you will be supported by a DofE Leader who offers advice and encouragement, you pick new experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life. If you would like more information, or want to find out your nearest Licensed Organisation, contact the DofE South West Regional Office on 01225 874 354 or southwest@DofE.org. If you are planning to give it a go then Summit Outdoor Leisure, Wyndham Way, Portishead, can provide most of the kit on the mandatory kit list you are given, with everything from water purification tablets and sleeping bags to a large 60 litre rucksack and boots. The store also offers a 10 percent discount for the DofE. Images provided by Duke of Edinburgh’s Award