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Doing the DofE as a participant

As a young person you can build your own custom programme, choosing a unique range of skills to focus on and develop. Learn more about volunteering, physical activity, skills and expeditions in this guidance. If you're planning on doing the Gold Award, you can also go on a residential.


There are lots of different volunteering options within Scouts – including being a young leader or adult volunteer delivering adventurous activities – and in the wider community.

Finding opportunities for young people under 16 can be tricky, though. And aligning these with to specific interests and goals may take a little while, so it's always wise to start searching early.

The DofE opportunity finder is a great place to begin: it's jam-packed with opportunities listed by Approved Activity Providers or Licensed Organisations for the DofE.

Volunteering Ideas

Helping people

  • Helping children
  • Helping children to read in libraries
  • Helping in medical services (eg Hospitals)
  • Helping older people
  • Helping people in need
  • Helping people with additional needs
  • Tutoring
  • Young carer work
  • Youth work

Community action and raising awareness

  • Campaigning
  • Cyber safety
  • Council representation
  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Home accident prevention
  • Neighbourhood watch
  • Peer education
  • Personal safety promotion and PR
  • Road safety

Working with the environment or animals

  • Animal welfare
  • Climate change action and awareness
  • Environment
  • Rural conservation
  • Preserving waterways
  • Working at an animal rescue centre
  • Litter picking
  • Urban conservation
  • Beach and coastline conservation
  • Zoo/farm/nature reserve work (excluding private companies such as Vets)
  • Helping a charity or community organisation


  • Being a charity intern
  • Being a volunteer lifeguard
  • Event management
  • Fundraising Mountain rescue
  • Serving a faith community
  • Supporting a charity
  • Working in a charity shop
  • Coaching, teaching and leadership
  • Dance leadership
  • DofE Leadership Group leadership
  • Head student

Leading a voluntary organisation group

Examples include:

  • Girls’ Venture Corps
  • Sea Cadets
  • Air Cadets
  • Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade
  • St John Ambulance
  • Scouts 
  • Air Training Corps
  • Army Cadet Force
  • Boys’ Brigade 
  • CCF
  • Church Lads’ & Girls’ Brigade
  • Girlguiding UK
  • Girls’ Brigade
  • Sports leadership
  • Music tuition

DofE Ideas

Visit the DofE website for extra guidance, programme planning resources and ideas

Check out the ideas