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All sorts have been on the Lady H recently -
All sorts enjoy the Lady H!

But more seriously ...Treloars College first DofE expedition was a complete success!!

Treloars whole group

Treloars College in Alton is residential school and caters for disabled young people and has been offering DofE for 2 years now. Whilst the students have been busy working towards the volunteering, physical and skill sections finding an appropriate expedition for them has taken some time. After looking at possible options the most suitable option was an expedition on canal boat option using one of the Bruce’s Trust fully wheelchair accessible canalboat’s.

The group of 5 young people went on their practice expedition at end the of March on the Kennet and Avon Canal and they were taught the skills needed to use the canal and boat correctly including boat handling, getting in and off the boat safely, and how the locks operate. The group took part in all aspects of this and had an adult staff member with each of them to assist them with this. The group found it challenging and hard work but very enjoyable.!

Treloars group

Their assessed expedition took place at the end of June, and the group had a much better opinion of what to expect and had planned the route in more detail. They left from Great Bedwyn and travelled up to Hungerford before returning the next day, despite some heavy rain showers on the first day the weather was generally good throughout. The group had a detailed plan and had assigned roles and with a rota of who was doing each lock, and preparing meals for the group so they all took part in all aspects. Their assessor Tim James was particularly impressed with the teamwork and how they got involved in all aspects of the expedition. Despite a few technical issues with the boat which were resolved quickly the group successfully completed the expedition and were very proud to have completed this and really enjoyed the experience and gained a lot of new skills from this. The group are currently putting the finishing touches to their project work which was to explore the accessibility of the canal and canal boat for those with physical disabilities before presenting this at the school soon. They are just finishing off the final sections of the Bronze DofE before submitting these for completion and hopefully receiving their certificates in the near future. Some of the group are now planning to go onto Silver and Gold!. The groups was successful in securing funding from MariaMarina funding from the DofE South East Region to help with this project.

... and a Gold DofE Residential on Lady H.

The DofE team organised a Gold Residential experience onboard their community narrow boat Lady H during the summer holidays. The young people came from across the UK and didn’t know each other on arrival but after living in such small quarters for 5 days they became a great team and good friends. Communication, team work, and social skills were very much a large part of this experience and each young person developed these skills at varying levels.

During the trip the young people were responsible for the daily living  onboard, including all the chores such as cooking and cleaning . This for some was just as new an experience as being onboard Lady H! The young people were given the opportunity to plan and manage the menus for the 5 days with the ingredients provided and each day proved to be a new taste and challenge for them all. This residential has given them a set of life skills that will stay with them forever.

After an introduction to each other, the boat, locks and a safety brief we left the mooring and began our adventure together. Over the 5 days our journey took us from Newbury Marina to Kintbury for the first evening this is a lovely spot to moor up for the evening with a small village to explore. Day 2 took us to Wilton Water after a long day we moored up and took a walk over the fields to the village pub The Swan for a very well deserved meal. The next morning we took a tour around the windmill and the Crofton Bean Pumping Engines giving the young people an insight into the history of the canals and the workings of the pumping station. We then continued our journey  so we could include the tunnel that was named after Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury. This is the only tunnel on the Kennet and Avon Canal and the young people were thrilled to have the chance to steer Lady H through the tunnel with only the front head lamp to help guide them and the horn to warn other boaters that we were in the tunnel. After emerging from the tunnel we then promptly turned round and went back through the tunnel to start our return journey to Newbury marina over the next 2 and a half days.

During the journey all the young people had opportunity to learn all the skills they needed to crew and skipper Lady H with the supervision of two qualified CCBM skippers. Over the first two days the young people were closely supervised and taught various skills, this helped them to keep concentration for longer periods of time and gave them all the confidence they needed to manage the boat between themselves on the last 3 days with less supervision.     

Quotes from the young people -    

“I would definitely recommend this residential to other DofE participants as it symbolises   everything about DofE. It is challenging, yet fun, and you learn new skills, both novel and for life. It is also good because it’s not as strict as the expedition, or School trips, you have more independence.”

“I gained new friends, wonderful memories, life skills like cooking/cleaning and a love for narrow boating.”

“I learned how to drive and look after a narrow boat, how the canals were built and why also lots about the wildlife on the canals.”  

“I am more confident with making decisions now and have learned not to panic!”

“It was a fantastic opportunity we got to see some amazing things along the way like the pumping station and we got to cook and try tasty new food.”

If this has inspired you to have a go or are interested in using a canal boat, Hampshire County Council have one moored in Newbury which is available to hire with a fully qualified skipper, please contact the Outdoor Education/DofE office for more details.

And other land-based news  ....

This summer has been a busy one with many changes for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the New Forest.

Testwood and Applemore Schools are both getting going again with the award after having had breaks for a few years. For young people with additional needs, Oak Lodge School is planning on getting started this autumn and, Southlands School has also done really well with the first awards there this summer for many years.

The New Forest now has more open centres than ever before, offering young people the chance to complete the award with friends from outside school and also giving a second chance to those who were not able to get a place on their school programmes. The Hardley Open Centre, now based at Calshot has a new leader this autumn after the departure of the hard working Lucy and the retirement of long serving John, and is planning to offer both bronze and silver awards.

Two new centres will be opening their doors this September too.

Totton Open Centre - from left to right: Ian Hatch, Simon Halliday, Simon Lewis and Ally Purdue

The Totton Open Centre will be offering the award to young people at the Garage Youth Club in Totton and the New Milton Open Centre will be opening its doors to young people for all levels of the award at Bashley Cricket Club. All centres have fantastic teams of volunteers - but are always on the look out for more if you have a few hours to help out.

For more information on any of the New Forest centres or to enquire about volunteering with the award please contact Tracey Churcher, the local field officer on

Also - a successful first bronze DoE expedition in Swanwick Lodge - please click here for full article.  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 476kB

Bronze expedition at Swanwick Lodge  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 476kB   Bronze expedition at Swanwick Lodge  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 476kB


Growing Together

young mums group

The Andover Growing Together group completed their bronze assessed expedition in the New Forest on the 7th and 8th June in the New Forest and passed with flying colours.

The group made up of six young Mums, ten children under five and six helpers made their way from Rhinefield to Foxlease and then onto Ober water where the group made full use of the shallow stream to paddle and cool down. Play activities in the New Forest were used as aim work and the group made collages with flowers and leaves, made homes for the DofE teddy bear and played hide and seek.

children in a trolley being pushed

Teresa Monks who assessed the group said, “ I really loved working with the group. It was so special to see how they all grew in confidence over the two days and worked so well as a team supporting each other

groupof children

Leadership Academy - 16-20 August 2014

DofE Academy logo

Are you aged between 16-19 and currently doing your DofE Gold Award?

Would you like to develop your leadership potential?

Then why not apply for a place on DofE's exciting Leadership Academy?

This residential is an excellent opportunity to develop your DofE knowledge and leadership ability to then go on to volunteer as an effective leader within your DofE group.

On the residential you will live alongside fellow aspiring leaders from across the South East and undergo training in several aspects of being a DofE leader.

It’s not all work though, and there will be some time for play as you will have the opportunity to hone your leadership skills in range of outdoor challenges.

Afterwards it is your responsibility to put your new skills into action. You will have the opportunity to discuss with your leader where they need support and how you can best benefit your group.

Here are some ideas on how you might be able to support your group;

  • Delivering or the supporting the delivery of expedition training;

  • Managing and maintaining equipment;

  • Managing the group’s publicity, from taking photos and updating noticeboards to social media;

  • Recruiting and mentoring new participants;

  • Helping on expeditions;

  • Supporting the delivery of the physical, skills and volunteering sections;

  • Giving talks to others on your DofE experience.

For further information and to book a place please call 01753 727450 or email

Volunteer at BoomTown Fair!

Hants Air Ambulance logo

Get involved, join the crew and raise funds for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance have been appointed by BoomTown Fair to recruit volunteers at the festival, which takes place between 7th – 10th August at the Matterley Estate nr. Winchester.

Volunteers will be required to work 3 or 4, 8 hour shifts between 4th – 10th August. In return for your hard work you will benefit from;entry to the festival, crew camping with showers, as well as access to the crew catering quarter for cheaper meals and to the crew bar all weekend. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance will also receive a donation from BoomTown for every hour you work and the hope is to raise in excess of £15,000, but they need your help!

All applicants must be 18 years or older. All volunteers are required to pay a refundable deposit of £180 (please note: there will be an additional £10 non-refundable booking fee).

To find out more please email


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22 May 2014

Shhhh... successful Silent Auction!

Mexican Flag_Silent AuctionMexican Tacos

Since the last fundraiser at Swanwick Lodge (secure children's home) two members of the group have been released back into the community leaving one young man to continue with fundraising campaign for Hampshire Search and Rescue. (HANTSAR).

So the planning began to host a Silent Auction all proceeds going to HANTSAR. For 1hr a week over 4 months the DofE team, HANTSAR volunteers and the DofE participant worked together to plan, organise and host the Silent Auction. Letters were written to lots of local businesses to ask for any possible donations, to start with we were worried that we wouldn’t get enough donations to make it a viable event.  We were, however very pleasantly surprised at the fantastic response we had, we were given over 50 donations of varying value.

The donations included tickets to events, 3 course meals, outdoor equipment, perfume, activity days and many more. Everyone involved with the event would like to thank all those that kindly donated to this very worthy cause. Without the donations the event wouldn’t have been such a success. We would also like to thank all the guests that attended the silent auction and bought the items that were donated, the event was successful on many levels. The event raised a total of £875 on the evening, the profile of HANTSAR was also enhanced and the young man involved grew as an individual. He showed a wonderful level of maturity socialising with all the guests and he helped with the smooth running of the evening telling all the leaders to stop panicking! He also gained some new skills whilst working on the project including cooking a 3 course Mexican themed menu with 2 mains to choose from for 40 people. One guest said “it was better than eating in a restaurant” which was a lovely compliment and I would agree the food was fantastic!

With both events combined a grand total of £1153 has been raised. HANTSAR has indicated they might put the money towards some dry suits for rescues during flooding.

The HANTSAR volunteers have said “It was brilliant to witness the enthusiasm, creativeness and hard work of the young people involved in both fundraising events. Their confidence has grown based on their successes and there is no doubt in their mind that their experience in obtaining the Bronze DofE Award is potentially life changing.”

With only the expedition section left to do there is already talk of starting the Silver Award in November when he turns 15. For the rest of his Bronze Award he has completed his Junior Football Leadership Award for his Skills Section and Boxercise level 1 for his Physical Section with the support of the Reading FC Community Trust.

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Up and coming DofE Courses....

2day First Aid course

7-8th June
New Forest School, Fawley

Please forward a booking form to book a place, we have several place left available and everyone on the waiting list has already been offered the dates!

Intro to DofE

11 June
Treloar College, Alton

Intro to DofE

15 July
Hounsdown School, Totton

This is the last Intro to DofE course before the Autumn term, so it might be worth booking on if you're looking to book onto the Expedition Trainers Course - save you the panic stations in September!

Training course Brochure

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Fare thee well

Abby Roch, DofE Admin Officer, will be leaving us Wednesday 4th June...

Abby Roch Burgate"It's been a fabulous ride since I took on Carrie's maternity leave opportunity back in November 2008! After securing the permanent contract I've been part of a department that has come on leaps and bounds and not necessarily along a straightest of paths...?! I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Outdoor Education, PE & DofE Service and hope that it will go from strength to strength under the new 'Hampshire Futures' banner.

I've been privileged to be able to have been on so many adventures such as the many ETC courses, the county's narrowboat, up to st James Palace for a Gold Award Presentation and look forward to any new adventures that come my way...

Keep Volunteering, 'Skillsing', 'Physicalling', Expeditioning, 'Residentialling', eDofEing and most of all - smiling!"

Please ensure that you change any distribution lists etc to sent to the mailbox while a replacement is found during the summer and be kind to Carrie in the interim!


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29 April 2014

Andover Young Mum's first DofE Adventure!


The first expedition weekend of spring saw seven Andover young Mums and ten of their children take their first steps on the way to their DofE Bronze Expedition. In brilliant spring sunshine, the group enjoyed a weekend at Minstead Study Centre and in the New Forest. Saturday afternoon was spent exploring Acres Down where the bouncing bog and hill for rolling down were particular favourites with both mums and tots and Sunday was spent learning about maps on an Easter egg orienteering course followed by pond dipping and parachute games.

The group had a fantastic time and can’t wait for the Practice Expedition in May, again at Minstead with the Qualifying Expedition based at Foxlease in June. The Mums are making story sacks for their aim work to let other young mums know what to expect when they undertake DofE.


The Mums are taking part in the project thanks to grant aid which is funding a full Bronze DofE programme. One young Mum has already gone on to become a parent mentor and a second has trained to be a DofE Leader!

For more information please contact Tracey Churcher, New Forest & Test Valley DofE Field Officer

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The Training Course Brochure UPDATED

Please be aware that the Training Course Brochure has been updated for courses up to September and onwards! Please do plan ahead to avoid disappointment and ensure that new Volunteers begin the process to be a DofE Leader as quickly as possible, especially if they would like to then become a DofE Trainer.

All HCC Coordinators who have approved SLAs should have and be using their Learning Zone logins to book their DofE Volunteers onto the training courses.There are only several courses/meetings that require a full booking form, those which are bookable through the Learning Zone are highlighted by their "LZ:..." link in the course headings. However, booking forms will not be turned away if they are the only means available to you!

Here are a number of courses coming up with spaces still available:

  • Expedition Assessor Reaccreditation

    6-9pm, 6th May, Clarendon House, Winchester

  • Minibus Training for DofE Leaders (FREE)

    630-9pm, 3rd June Refresher OR 20th May (New Drivers), Falcon House, Winchester

  • Expedition Upgrade

    21st OR 22nd June (3hrs), Expedition area within Hampshire

  • DofE Safeguarding

    630-930pm, 7th July, Barton Peveril College, Eastleigh

  • Introduction to DofE

    5-8pm, 11th June, Treloar School, Alton

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MIDAS Courses - FREE to DofE Leaders

As per above we organise MIDAS minibus training for DofE Leaders at zero cost.

For more info... Microsoft Word 31kB

This item has been updated 8.5.14 - MIDAS refresher date has changed

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Expedition Season 2015

We are aware that many of you have already been planning your 2015 Expedition programmes! Please ensure that you read the guidance section within the Green book/Evolve regarding this, but the official start of the Expedition Season 2015 date is....

1st April 2015

(no, this is not a planned April fools...!)

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All4Youth survey

If you're aged 8-25 and living in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth & Southampton All4youth would like your help to review the services and support we provide for young people.
They would like to know what you think it is most important to focus on and will use the information you provide to help them write their new organisational strategy for the coming years.

Please do give a few minutes to be heard

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Approvals Guide

We have revamped the Approvals Guide for completing your Expedition approvals - it includes which forms/documents you need, ratios, National forms etc. Certainly one to keep on file!

Our Resources webpage

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Downhill - The movie...30th May release date

We came across this on Twitter and think it's worth a share!

It's a British movie about 4 men who embark on the Wainwright's Coast to Coast goes 'Downhill' from there...!

Downhill homepage

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