The Somerset Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) team is celebrating their highest ever number of enrolments across the county, with 2908 local young people signed up to an award between April 2023 and March 2024.

The DofE award is on offer in all secondary schools, colleges and most Special Educational Needs (SEN) providers in Somerset. Young people can start an award between the ages of 14-25 and those who are home educated can access the award directly through Somerset DofE.

Across the 66 Somerset DofE centres, 2908 young people signed up to take part in the award last year, an increase of nearly 300 from the previous year. Of the young people to take part last year, 1558 achieved an award.

Last year saw an increase in enrolment and completion of the award by those with additional needs. Somerset DofE works with over 25 SEN centres to ensure that the award can be achieved by all young people in the county. There is a Somerset bursary to enable any young person who is disadvantaged or facing financial barriers to access the award.

Holyrood Academy, Chard, is amongst the schools celebrating another year for high enrolment, with 246 pupils signed up to take part in the award across all three levels. Heather Shearer, Somerset Council Executive Lead Member for Children, Families and Education and Associate Lead Member, Jo Roundell Greene, attended the Holyrood Academy annual award ceremony, which saw around 70 pupils receive their bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh certificates.

Cllr Heather Shearer, Lead Member for Children, Families and Education at Somerset Council, said:

Completing a DofE award takes a lot of hard work and motivation, as well as team-building, leadership and communication skills – all of which can be used later in life. It is great to see so many young people choosing to sign up to take part in the award. Congratulations to all the pupils and staff involved.”

Carol Authers, DofE Operations Manager at Somerset Council, said

I am absolutely blown away by the success this year, we have added new DofE centres and seen growth to silver awards in centres that historically only offered bronze. I need to thank the DofE leaders, staff, and volunteers for their incredible commitment, as well as my team for their hard work and support. We look forward to the forthcoming year and more activities and growth, with the aim to achieve 3000 new starters.”

Over the past year, Somerset DofE have held charity walks, bike rides and tree planting events, alongside organising residentials and expeditions and supporting the 66 DofE centres across the county. Somerset DofE recently planted a tree with the Somerset Freemasons to recognise the commitment they have had to supporting disadvantaged young people across the county. Over the past four years, the Freemasons have donated £45000 to the bursary that supports individual young people and groups access the award. The team are keen to work with additional funding partners to expand the disadvantaged programmes that they offer, please get in touch if you can help.

To find out more about the award, how to become a DofE centre, access the bursary, or how you can support/donate, contact

Somerset Duke of Edinburgh tree planting and receiving and award

About this article

April 19, 2024

Cara Cheshire

Children and Families