The Voluntary Service section of The Duke of Ed helps you develop a sense of community by volunteering to help others.
Depending on the service you choose, you may have to complete some training. This can range from a simple briefing session through to a specialised training course.
- Help at a youth group
- Help at a charity organisation
- Take care of walking tracks, parks or wildlife
- Take a first-aid course, then volunteer as a first-aider
- Help at an animal shelter
- Help in the school library
- Make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate
- Help at a hospital or nursing home
For more ideas, check out the list of Award activities or .
- Choose a Voluntary Service that reflects your interests, talents and capabilities.
- Choose something that challenges you and builds on previous experiences.
- Choose more than 1 activity if you need to.
- Discuss your activity ideas with your Award Leader before you start to make sure they will be accepted.
- Make sure your Voluntary Service activity is unpaid.
You need to do an average of 1 hour per week in your chosen activity over a minimum period of:
- Bronze level—3 months (6 months if you choose Voluntary Service as your major*)
- Silver level—6 months (12 months for direct entrants** who choose Voluntary Service as their major*)
- Gold level—12 months (18 months for direct entrants** who choose Voluntary Service as their major*).
*A major is an award section for which you have to complete an extra 3 to 6 months of activity (the length of time depends on your award level). Only new participants need to complete a major—that is, all Bronze participants as well as direct entrants at the Silver and Gold levels. You can choose 1 of Voluntary Service, Skills or Physical Recreation as your major.
**A direct entrant means you have not completed the level below the one you are entering (Bronze for Silver; Silver for Gold).