If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, then bagging yourself a Duke of Edinburgh Award – or two or three – will certainly do the trick.
Set-up more than 60 years ago by The Queen’s husband, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the bronze, silver and gold level award is for anyone who likes a challenge.
And it’s no exaggeration to say that completing it – especially if you achieve the coveted gold award – really will give you a passport to a brighter future. That’s because the skills, confidence and experience you will gain will help to open all sorts of doors, not least with colleges, universities, and employers.
More commonly known as the DofE, its mission is simple: ‘to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development, and recognise their achievements.’
Or to put it another way, it’s about helping you to succeed.
Open to any young person aged 14-24, the award is so highly regarded it has grown beyond the UK and is now offered in more than 130 countries and territories.
There are four elements to the programme: volunteering, physical, skills and an expedition, with an additional residential section at the gold level.
As an Air Cadet, you are in an ideal position to take on the DofE. All the elements needed for success are already integral to what being an Air Cadet is about.
As a cadet, you will learn new skills, take part in physical activities such as sport, volunteer in the community, and go on adventurous outdoor expeditions. And if you make it to the gold level and are lucky enough to get picked to go on a residential camp – particularly an overseas one – then that can count towards your award too.
Doing your DofE, especially at the gold level, will test your mettle. But as an Air Cadet, you’ll already know all about that.
Over time you will develop personally and welcome each new challenge. And at the end of it all, you’ll have the world’s leading achievement award for young people under your belt.
But there’s one person who’ll truly appreciate that achievement the most – you.