Awards Badge work District Explorers External Leaders Network

D of E – Funded participation places for disadvantaged young people

The fund is currently open until 31st March 2021.

The Resilience Fund will pay for participant places for young people who would otherwise not be able to participate in the award. There are free places at all levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold). This includes those who have already started/completed a DofE level and wish to sign up to another.

You can request as many places as you need, as long as you meet the criteria of the fund. If you only have one participant who wants to do DofE, then please do it. If you have 50 disadvantaged young people who want to start DofE, request 50!

If you’re aware members may be eligible but don’t want to single them out, you could consider if the unit has funds to make a contribution to the ones which the Resilience Fund wouldn’t cover, that way offering free places to all.


  • You can check the eligibility of your unit using this map or this postcode checker.
  • If your unit is in IMD 1-3 (30% most deprived areas) then your young people are already eligible.
  • If your unit is not in an eligible area, but your Young People are, they are eligible.
  • Young People are eligible if they are disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19 financial impact.
  • Young people may be eligible if they are in receipt of free school meals.
  • We understand that there might be other factors that means that a young person would face disadvantages and wouldn’t be able to afford a DofE participant place. If this is the case, please let us know and complete the Smartsheet Application form.
  • This process supports free places in England and Wales. Click here for information in Scotland.

How to apply for free participation places

You’ll need to know which young people to apply for before asking for places.

1. Unit Leaders or County DofE/Top Awards Adviser introduces award to Units and collects number of participants who are eligible and wish to sign up.

2. The Unit Leader or County DofE/Top Awards Adviser to input the amount of places requested onto this Smartsheet Application Form.

3. Please allow around two weeks for a response on the places being granted.

4. Encourage your Young People to get signed up and registered within two weeks to guarantee that place.

5. Get started…

When should I apply?

We recommend you apply as soon as possible, as free places are limited. The fund is currently open until 31st March 2021. However, if all available places are taken before then, the fund may close early.

Places should be used within a month of requesting them and you can apply more than once, if reasonable to do so.

For example, if a leader has 12 participants ready to go, but is waiting for 2 to finish their Bronze Award, likely in around 6 weeks. Apply for the 12 places now and apply for the additional 2 later.

It may be an idea to limit requests to once a month, as each application request requires a representative from DofE to put in an individual bid, so we’ve been asked to limit the number of requests by each unit.

Apply today by filling out the Smartsheet Application form.