To connect with your community and give service to others and their communities.
Perhaps the most personal of all The Duke of Ed Sections, Service is all about giving back to the community you are part of, or giving to others and their communities. Whatever passions you may have, whether it’s care and concern for the environment, a love of animals, a desire to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than yourself or a wish to help the sick or elderly, the Service Section offers the structure to fulfil these passions.
Service offers the opportunity to engage with society and gain an understanding of the importance of your role within both your immediate and global community. It gives you the chance to connect with individuals and groups you may have previously overlooked or not been aware of, and to make a real difference to your wider community.
By getting involved with your community, you should enjoy making a real difference to the lives of others, and through this, develop a greater responsibility to yourself and wider society. It is hoped that through regular commitment to your chosen service, you will begin to form a lifelong habit of community involvement and voluntary service. Some of the benefits include:
- It’s personal and it’s rewarding: You choose where you want to volunteer your time. You will get out of it what you put in.
- You will make a real difference: Whether you choose to volunteer to help people, or whether your passion is focused on nature, fundraising or another area of society, your contribution will make a real difference to the area where you volunteer your time.
- You might surprise yourself: Sometimes it’s easier to think you won’t be able to do something, rather than actually trying to do it. By putting yourself in situations that are out of your usual comfort zones, you will be surprised what you may learn about yourself.
- You can do it with your friends, and you might make some new ones along the way: Whether you choose to volunteer with your friends, or whether you choose an area on your own, you will meet some inspirational people from a range of backgrounds.
- You will feel great: By devoting your time to helping others or by pursuing a cause you will feel a real sense of achievement and personal satisfaction.
- You will learn new interpersonal skills: Service sometimes puts you in challenging situations with people from a variety of backgrounds. This type of experience helps to develop patience, tolerance and compassion, and an increasing awareness of the problems and needs of others and society.
For this Section, Participants must:
- Undertake an activity regularly where you are donating your time to a genuine cause for the required length of time depending on the Award level chosen.
- Meet the minimum time requirements depending on the Award level chosen.
- Show regular commitment, progress and improvement in your chosen volunteer activity.
- Understand that regular commitment means at least one (1) hour per week, two (2) hours per fortnight or four (4) hours every four weeks.
- Undertake activities substantially in your own time. This means that whilst some activity may take place within school, university or work hours, most of it should occur outside of these scheduled times.
For some activities, formal or informal training may be required. This will need to be checked with the organisation you have selected to volunteer with. Any required training may be used towards your Service minimum time requirements. Please note that any Service activity must not be to benefit of your family. It must also meet a genuine need, and not just provide a favour to a friend or neighbour or based on a required vocational or work experience activity.
Like all Sections of The Duke of Ed, choosing what or who to volunteer for is a personal choice. We encourage you to choose a Service activity that interests you. This could be something entirely new, or something you may already be involved in. Some Participants may feel comfortable ‘doing it alone’ and choosing something no one in their peer group is doing. Others may want to choose an activity that they can do with their friends, with the group dynamic offering the inspiration and motivation needed to get through.
The important thing is to choose something you are interested in, to challenge yourself, and to undertake an activity that makes a real contribution to your community. All Service activities must be unpaid.
• Aged care
• Ambulance service
• Animal care
• Bush regeneration
• Care for animals
• Child care
• Coaching sports teams
• Conservation project/groups
• Disability awareness
• Emergency services volunteer
• First aid
• Helping people with special needs
• Hospital volunteer
• Junior school council
• Library assistance
• Litter collection
• Meals on wheels
• National trust
• Park rangers
• Peer support
• Run a lunchtime group
• Senior Citizens’ club
• Service clubs
• Student newsletter
• Sunday school teaching
• Surf life saving
• Tree planting
• Water biodiversity
• Youth leader
For more information on this Award Section please download and refer to The Duke of Ed: Handbook