We are Leicester and Leicestershire’s leading DofE Award AAP. We work mainly with local DLC’s to enhance their provision and are happy to provide free advice or guidance to participants, parents and schools.

The DofE is the world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be.

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There are 3 levels of award, you can read a summary of each below;

Bronze Award

For those aged 14+. If you aren’t 14 yet but are in the school year in which you’ll turn fourteen, you may be able to start a Bronze DofE programme.

  • Volunteering section: 3 or 6 months
  • Physical section: 3 or 6 months
  • Skills section: 3 or 6 months
  • Expedition section: 2 days/1 night

Silver Award

For those aged 16+. If you aren’t 15 yet but are in the school year in which you’ll turn fifteen, you may be able to start a Silver DofE programme*.

  • Volunteering section: 6 months
  • Physical section: 3 or 6 months
  • Skills section: 3 or 6 months
  • Expedition section: 3 days/2 night

*depending on the centres instructions, you may not need to complete the Bronze award in order to take part in the Silver award, however, if you choose this option you will need to complete an additional 6 months of volunteering or the longer of the other 2 sections (direct entrant)

Gold Award

For those aged 16+.

  • Volunteering section: 12 months
  • Physical section: 6 or 12 months
  • Skills section: 6 or 12 months
  • Expedition section: 4 days/3 night
  • Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights

*depending on the centres instructions, you may not need to complete the Silver award in order to take part in the Gold award, however, if you choose this option you will need to complete an additional 6 months of volunteering or the longer of the other 2 sections (direct entrant)

To find our more information feel free to look at The DofE Award website or discuss it with your DofE Manager or Leader.


COG Youth Services Ltd is an Activity Approved Provider (AAP) for The DofE Award’s Expedition Section. This means schools can contract us to provide any or all aspects of the Expedition Section to your school.

We provide Walking expeditions at Bronze and Silver level only.

Should you require support for your Gold Award or any other form of travel at any level, we recommend, searching the DofE Opportunity finder page.

Why choose us?

  • We take great pride in supporting schools through their DofE Journey.
  • We are authorised by The DofE Award.
  • We can cater our contract to whatever you require.
  • One of the very few AAP’s with instructors from ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • We have access to male and female instructors.
  • Everything we do is in accordance with the guidelines set out by The DofE Award.
  • We specialise in working with and in schools.
  • Our team have worked in almost every Leicester city school and many Leicestershire county schools.
  • Our team consists of former DofE Award Centre Managers.
  • We work exclusively with schools in Leicester and Leicestershire.
  • We only take on a limited number of schools each year.
  • We provide support and guidance to participants all year round for all sections.
  • We invest in your local community by setting up youth volunteering opportunities.
  • We provide free advice to all schools, regardless of whether we are contracted or not.
  • We operate using Youth Work Principles.



Costs for The DofE Award can skyrocket and our aim is to make sure The DofE Award stays accessible and affordable to as many young people as possible. That is why, we will work with you on how to reduce your costs, even after we have given you a quote and will make adjustments if things don’t quite go to plan. To help reduce costs, we have even found a list of training videos that you can use as part of your weekly sessions.

But we know that people like to see a number so, our prices start from £150/team/day. Bear in mind that this is if you just need a qualified member of staff to support an expedition you are running.

To make life, easy and more fair, we charge per team (rather then per person) and depending on your needs and experience we work out a plan. We can manage your expeditions and even deliver all your training, but this will increase teh cost so come and speak to us as we know that every school and every DofE Manager is completely different. That way we can sit down and discuss your requirements before designing a programme and work out a support plan to see if there are ways to reduce the cost to you and the participants.

Book a meeting

If you are registered for the award but can’t make your school expedition dates or missed your expeditions for whatever reason you maybe be able to undertake an expedition through an AAP. These expeditions are called Open Expeditions.

An Open Expedition is a privately run expedition that is open to all registered DofE Award participants. By signing up to an Open Expedition, you will pay a fee and take part in an expedition with participants you may not know. You will still meet the 20 conditions, set out by the DofE Award and all the regular safeguarding practices will still be in place.

As an AAP, we will periodically run Leicester based Open Practice and Qualify Expeditions. All our Open Expeditions, take place over 3 days (with atleast 1 overnight) so that some refresher training can take place before the expedition takes place.

Our upcoming Open Expeditions are listed on our Events page. Alternatively you can take a look at the DofE Opportunity Finder. If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to email us at info@cogyouthservices.co.uk

Open Expedition Terms and Conditions

Applicability of Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions shall be incorporated into the contract and shall apply in place of and prevail over any terms and conditions contained or referred to in any communication from the customer or implied by custom or practice. Other terms and conditions are expressly rejected by COG Youth Services Ltd.


Booking Conditions

  • The contract shall be formed when the company acknowledges acceptance of the customers booking form and deposit.
  • Participation in adventurous activities entails some risk of injury. All staff employed by the company are trained and appropriately qualified to run activity sessions and will at all times proceed in a manor to limit the risk of injury. However, customers need to accept that accidents and injuries can happen.
  • Any customer under the age of 18 years must have the explicit permission of their parent or guardian before being able to take part in any activity/course offered by the company. The parent or guardian need to be aware and accept the risks involved in adventure activities and satisfy themselves accordingly.
  • The customer is responsible for the safekeeping of all equipment issued for use during the activity/course. With the exception of fair wear and tear the company reserves the right to charge for equipment that has been lost, damaged or misused.
  • All bookings are on the basis that the customer will, at all times, observe the safety regulations set by the company. The company reserves the right to exclude any persons whose behavior would become a safety risk to themselves or other participants. There will be no refund for persons excluded from an expedition/activity.
  • The contract is subject to availability of a course place/date and the acceptance by the customer of these terms and conditions.
  • Neither the company website or literature constitutes an offer and the company may correct any errors or omissions to its published prices at any time prior to the confirmation of the contract in accordance with this condition.
  • All information is produced in good faith that it is accurate at the time of going to press.
  • Any current price list replaces all previous price lists.


  • Places can only be reserved by the company receiving a completed booking form and a non-refundable deposit of £60 or 25% whichever is the greater.
  • The full balance of the fee must be cleared in the COG Youth Services Ltd account 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the course or expedition.  In the event that the balance is not cleared the company will have the discretion to treat the booking as cancelled by the customer. The time for payment shall be the essence of the contract.
  • The whole course fee is required to reserve a place for any booking made within 6 weeks of the commencement of the course.
  • Cheques should be made payable to COG Youth Services Ltd and sent to: COG Youth Services Ltd, 53 Osmaston Road, Leicester, LE5 5JH.
  • BACS payments can be sent to COG Youth Services Ltd, Account Number: 65790818, Sort Code: 089299 (The Co-operative Bank).
  • Balance payments must be received 6 weeks prior to commencement of the course as no reminders will be sent.
  • In the event of any cheque from the customer being dishonored a charge of £25, or such other sum as the company may from time to time advise the customer will be made to cover bank and administrative costs.


Amendments by the customer

Substitution of the original customer for another can be made provided at least 2 week’s notice is given by the substituted customer to the company and the substituting student satisfies the requirement of the activity or expedition. All substitutions must be made with the consent of the company with both the substituted and substituting customer being jointly and severally liable for the total course fee as well as an administrative cost of £25.00 per course/substitution.

A customer may apply, in writing, to change an expedition/activity or expedition/activity dates as long as the original booking is more than 6 weeks from the date of the request. The new expedition/activity must be one that appears on our website. An administrative charge of £25.00 is payable at the time of any change. Any requests to change course or course dates within the 6 week period will be dealt with under the terms and conditions relating to cancellation by the customer.


Cancellation by the customer

All cancellations must be in writing and sent either by letter, email or faxe. Any such notice given by letter, email or fax shall be deemed to have been given at the time at which the letter was delivered personally or transmitted. COG Youth Services Ltd will endevour to acknowledge any notices within 5 days of receipt.

In the event of a cancellation, the customer will be charged on the following basis:

  • £25 will be charged, if cancellation takes place more than 6 weeks before the commencement of the course.
  • 50% of the total course fee will be charged where cancellation takes place less than 6 weeks but more than 2 weeks before the commencement of the course.
  • 100% of the total course fee will be charged where cancellation takes place within 2 weeks of the course commencement date.


Amendments by the company

Whilst every attempt is made to ensure that expeditions/activities actually run on the dates advertised and in the location advertised, the company will notify the customer of alteration as soon as practicable where it believes on reasonable grounds that alteration is necessary due to dangerous and/or unsuitable conditions for the expedition/activity. The company is not liable for any extra cost incurred by the alteration of an expedition/activity.


Cancellation by the company

Whilst every attempt is made to ensure that expeditions/activities actually run, the company will notify the customer of cancellation as soon as practicable where it believes on reasonable grounds that cancellation is necessary due to dangerous and/or unsuitable conditions for the expedition/activity.

The company shall notify the customer of cancellation not less than five days prior to the commencement of the course where numbers as a result of either customer(s) cancellation or booked numbers have failed to reach a workable minimum.

Cancellation by the company does not affect a customer’s right to a refund of travel costs that he/she may have incurred prior to the cancellation and since lost except in the circumstances set out in the clauses above.

In the event of cancellation customers will be offered the choice of the following options

  • Full refund of the fee paid; or
  • Another booking on a different date.


Health, Fitness & Competency

Customers participating in expeditions/activities must expect to be involved in adventurous and sometimes strenuous activities. Although prior experience and/or training are not necessary on all the expeditions/activities customers are expected to be of good general health and meet any minimum competency standards that the company sets for that particular expedition/activity. The medical section must be completed as part of the booking process. All prior injuries and/or serious illnesses must be declared. Any injury or illness occurring between the time of the declaration and the commencement of the course must be reported. The customer must satisfy him/herself that taking part in the expedition/activity is within his/her own capabilities. The company reserves the right to refuse a booking on medical grounds if it is considered to be detrimental to the safety and smooth running of the expedition/activity.

This clause does not discriminate against any disabilities. Providing any disabilities are made clear to company, the company will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure all participants with disabilities are given fair and equitable access to all our expeditions/activities. Due to the nature of the some of the activities, the level of adjustments the company can provide maybe limited. The company also reserves the right to charge additional, reasonable, fees where adaptations need to be made. We recommend the customer with disabilities (or a representative) should consult COG Youth Services Ltd before they book on to any expedition/activity.



Customers shall provide all necessary personal equipment for the activity and COG Youth Services Ltd or its staff are not under any liability whatsoever in the respect of loss or damage to personal property, however caused, whilst attending the expedition/activity.

COG Youth Services Ltd will supply, at no extra cost, group equipment including, tents, cookers and fuel, pots and pans, maps and compasses, unless the customer wishes to use their own kit.


Completion of Expedition/Activity

All participants are required to demonstrate competence at the required level to partake in expeditions/activities provided by COG Youth Services Ltd. We will endeavor to make sure you have received all relevant training and opportunity, however, if the required level of competence cannot be demonstrated then further training and practice will be recommended. COG Youth Services Ltd is not responsible for any further costs incurred by extra training requirements or for any further expeditions that need to be undertaken.


Insurance and Award Registration

COG Youth Services Ltd is fully insured to carry out our activities as advertised, our insurance certificate can be found on our Useful Resources page.

The customer is responsible for ensuring they are registered for the award and have booked an Open Expedition at the level and standard that is correct for their award. Cancelling a booking as a result of an incorrect booking will be treated as a cancellation by the customer.

Customers or thier guardians are responsible for ensuring any additional insurances (ie,personal accident insurance) for the expeditions/activity is in place. DofE participants have limited insurance provided by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Further information can be found on the DofE Award website.



Please note that COG Youth Services Ltd (and our authorised service providers and agents) or our commercial partners may film or photograph participants taking part or attending the expedition/activity and use such footage or photographs for the following reasons:

  • for COG Youth Services Ltd to publicise the expedition/activity for commercial and/or fundraising purposes including, but not limited to, television broadcasts, advertising, publications, marketing material, merchandising, and other documents that may be made available to the public; and
  • for our commercial partners to publicise their involvement and/or association with the expedition/activity.

No photographs of anyone under the age of 16 will be used in the manner described above without the written consent of that child’s parent or legal guardian, but we may use images where children are incidentally included, for example of mass participation in the warm-up exercises or on the starting line.

Subject to the rule above, COG Youth Services Ltd will make every effort to ensure that only photos of those consenting to images are used. In the event of accidental use of a photo, COG Youth Services Ltd will, within reason, remove or amend the photo within 48 hours of being reported.


Data Protection

All information passed to COG Youth Services Ltd will be treated in accordance with our Data Policy which is written in line with our responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulations 2018. You have the right not to supply personal data, however doing so means you will not be able to participate in the expedition/activity. By providing your personal data, you have consented to your data being shared within the remit of our Data Policy. No terms or conditions here affect your data protection rights and you can withdraw any consents or request your data to be deleted from our system at anytime, however doing so may mean you will not be able to participate in the expedition/activity, if done so before the expedition/activity has taken place. Information will be shared with COG Youth Services Ltd staff in order to provide and maintain a safe expedition/activity and maybe passed onto an appropriate third party (such as, emergency services) if needed. Some general information will also be shared with The DofE Award, in line with any of our license conditions. All documentation and information you share with us will be destroyed/deleted in line with current data policy.

Click here to view our our Data Policy

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COG Youth Services really cared about my children and made [The DofE Award] really fun and interesting at the same time
Bharti Patel (Parent)