The Residential element of the Gold Award is an opportunity to get out and about, meet new people, develop a variety of skills and gain in self-confidence. It need not be expensive and can take place at any time of year.For your Residential section you need to undertake a shared activity or specific course with people you don't know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment. Evenings are often as much a part of the experience as daytime activities.

This section offers a high degree of flexibility but it must be done with an organised group, registered charity or Approved Activity Provider. You must join it individually and not with an existing group of friends or as part of a school or youth group trip. You will be staying away - anything from an activity centre or camp to a boat or barge (note: volunteering at a festival does not count) - but you cannot stay with friends or relatives.

The document at the bottom of this page provides a few suggestions for Residential projects to set you thinking.

Other opportunities can be found at, together with the full set of requirements for the Residential section.

Programme planners, Activity ideas lists and Session planners relating to the Residential section may be downloaded from the DofE website.

The Boys’ Brigade & Girls’ Association – Vale and South

The Boys' Brigade and Girls' Association currently operate in the South Oxfordshire and West Oxfordshire areas. For those undertaking their Gold award and looking for a residential project they can offer places on the Severn Challenge. Young people would be working as part of the support crew travelling from one location to another, preparing food, purchasing supplies, moving equipment and boats, setting up and running the publicity stand at Gloucester Docks and Saul Junction, and generally supporting those on the water.

The Challenge runs for 8 days (7 nights) and is normally based at 4 or 5 locations between Welshpool and Sharpness.

The Severn Challenge takes place at Easter during the school holidays in every odd numbered year (i.e. 2019, 2021, 2023 etc.)

For further information please contact Nev Keating, Development Officer Vale & South Oxon, The Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association 01491 652602 & 07851 206344

Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council’s Outdoor Education Centres are offering gold participants an opportunity to undertake their Residential section at one of our centres, Woodlands (Brecon Beacons area), Kilvrough (the Gower) and Yenworthy Lodge (North Devon).

For more information and an application form, please download the Oxfordshire Outdoors DofE Provision brochure from the Expeditions page.

National Citizen Service (NCS)

The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme which is aimed at school years 11 and 12 (or age equivalent), essentially provides young people with a range of skills and outcomes that would support or enhance their DofE experience. The Residential element of the programme would also meet the requirements of the Gold Residential section.The NCS programme consists of two separate week long residentials and a social action project to increase participants personal skills and make a positive contribution to their community. As part of the recruitment of participants to this year’s programme, we would particularly like to offer this opportunity to DofE participants. If you feel that this would benefit some or all of the participants you work with, contact Ryan Johnson for an informal discussion or to find out more.Ryan Johnson, NCS Co-ordinator

Mobile: 07867 925502, Telephone: 01865 815870


Assisting on a Gold Expedition

Under certain circumstances it is possible to complete your Residential by becoming an assistant leader on a Gold expedition. This can also be a very inexpensive route, as the majority of the costs involved are usually built into the venture fees of the expedition participants.

Being a leader on an expedition is very different from being a participant, so if you would like to see what it is like to be 'on the other side of the minibus' it would be very worthwhile considering this type of opportunity. You would find out how expeditions are organised and run, how leaders monitor groups using remote supervision, and how 'lost' groups are managed. You would be expected to take part in all the various activities undertaken by the leaders, although the responsibility for groups' safety would remain with the qualified leaders, of course.

All the normal rules about the Residential must apply, of course, so it is important that you do not know a significant number of the other people (leaders or participants) on the venture. For this reason an expedition being run by your own school is not appropriate for this activity.

If you would like to find out more about this type of Residential opportunity, contact Oxfordshire Open Award, who might be able to put you in touch with suitable expedition leaders. To ensure that all the requirements for the Residential element are being fulfilled, the relevant Operating Authority must authorise any such activities first.

DofE Approved Activity Providers

See this page on the DofE website for a full list of Approved Activity Providers.