The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

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St Christopher’s has been running The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People since 1995. It started off with just 14 participants at bronze level with 2 staff. In 2017, it involves over 250 students working with 20+ staff working at different stages. During 2016/17, the following awards were made – 90+ students gained their Bronze Award, 70 completed the Silver Award and 20 achieved Gold. Expeditions are held annually in Oman for Bronze, Cyprus for Silver and Switzerland for Gold.

The Award is an exciting self-development programme available to all young people worldwide equipping them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and their world. To date over 4 million young people from over 100 countries have been motivated to undertake a variety of voluntary and challenging activities.

The Award is flexible and can be done by anyone aged 14–25 in their own time: mental or physical ability or social circumstances should never be a barrier. Moreover, the individual chooses what activities to do depending on his/her interests and resources.

There are three levels of the Award in which you can participate – Bronze, Silver and Gold, with each successive level demanding increased commitment.

  • BRONZE—for those over 14. The minimum period of participation to gain this Award is 6 months
  • SILVER—for those over 15. The minimum period of participation to gain this Award is 12 months
  • GOLD—for those over 16. The minimum period of participation to gain this Award is 18 months.

You do not have to start at the Bronze level. If you are over 15 you can join directly at the Silver level or if you are over 16, directly at Gold although we will give priority to those who have achieved the Bronze Award when selecting students for the Silver Award. The same priority will be given to students applying for the Gold Award if they have passed the Silver Award.

The Award is a programme of personal and social development. The value to young people is dependent on personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience. It demands persistence and commitment and cannot be completed in a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants may want to continue with activities beyond the minimum time requirements set out for each level of the Award. At each level, the Award Programme demands more time and an increasing degree of commitment, and responsibility from the participant.

The numbers of students interested in the Award have grown rapidly throughout each year and the award is so popular now that we require all interested students to apply for a place on the award as numbers are limited. This year we were able to offer 70 places for students wishing to start the Bronze Award, 56 places for those wishing to start the Silver Award and 20 places for those wishing to start the Gold Award.

The Sections of the Award

To gain an Award, all four Sections (plus an additional requirement of a Residential Project at Gold level only) must be tackled for the specified minimum period of time. The Sections are:


To encourage a sense of responsibility to the community through:

  • community service projects
  • conservation work
  • voluntary service in hospitals or community homes
  • or more specialised training such as lifesaving, first aid or rescue services
  • The emphasis of this Section is the regular giving of a service.


An enjoyable experience designed to cultivate a spirit of adventure and discovery; an understanding of the environment, and the importance of working together in a team with a common purpose. The Expedition may be by foot, bicycle, boat or horseback, or alternatively it may be an equally challenging adventurous journey. Proper training and preparation, self sufficiency, self-reliance and the exploration of new surroundings are the key elements. If you are feeling particularly adventurous then the Expeditions Section could be fulfilled overseas, perhaps on an organised exchange with an Award group from another country.


To encourage the development of personal interests and learn practical skills. There are over 200 hobby and vocational Skills from which you can choose, such as Photography, Cacti Growing, Magazine Production, and Metal Work.

Physical Recreation

To encourage improved performance and physical fitness. Participants are required to take part in some form of organised physical recreation and show individual progress. Most team and individual sports are included, such as football, athletics, archery, swimming and canoeing. The list is endless, depending on what appeals to you.

More detail can be found at:

Last Updated: 01 December 2019