MORE and more young people in Somerset are taking up the opportunity to pursue a Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award.

Following delays and cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Somerset DofE team have now seen a total of 2,649 students have started an award in one of the 62 centres.

This includes 533 awards that have been started by disadvantaged pupils, whether at mainstream schools or settings specifically for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

According to the DofE website "participants who commit to the award are likely to experience increased self-belief and confidence, learn new skills, and improve their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills".

Charlotte Bennett is one of the young people in Somerset currently working for her DofE Award.

“I am taking part in DofE because I think it is a good opportunity to build my skills and confidence whilst having fun with friends,” Charlotte said.

“From taking part I have gained confidence and become more resilient. I have learned new skills and improved my ability to work as part of a team. DofE has allowed to feel part of something good and that I have achieved something.”

Carol Authers, Somerset DofE Operations Manager, expressed her delight at the number of pupils opting to participate in the scheme.

“I am absolutely thrilled we have increased participation numbers for the award. Our DofE Leaders have made this possible and deserve a lot of credit for the success of the award in Somerset. I would like to thank each of them for their commitment in helping to deliver expeditions and providing a full award experience to the participants."

Anyone wishing to learn more on any of the options can email