Our Access Without Limits community funding is now open for applications, until December 2024. Grant funding of up to £10,250 is available for eligible community and voluntary organisations to run the DofE and covers the enrolment costs for young people taking part. 

We not only offer grant funding but support organisations every step of the way. This includes training for your staff and volunteers, a dedicated member of our staff working collaboratively to support everything from training, mentoring, reporting and monitoring the progress of young people on their DofE journey. 

Hear from Leaders and participants in some of the organisations we have already funded:

Funding for Community Organisations Funding Application Q&A Blog

Take a look at the organisations across the UK that are part of the Access Without Limits Community Funding Programme, delivering DofE to their young people:

What are the funding criteria?

Eligibility Criteria for Organisations:

  • Organisations must be based or have delivery within the eligible project areas (see section below for additional detail on these).
  • Organisations must be an incorporated not for profit / Voluntary, Community or Social Enterprise (VCS) Organisation and registered with Companies House or the Charities Commission.  Types of eligible VCS organisations would include:
    • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) registered with the Charities Commission,
    • Charitable Companies, registered with both Companies House and the Charity Commission.
    • Community organisations who are Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLG) with no share capital and are registered with Companies House,
    • Community Interest Companies (CICs) limited by guarantee and registered with companies House. Only those not conducted for private gain are eligible: any surplus or assets are used exclusively for the benefit of the community.
    • Organisations with other governance structure should contact us to discuss their eligibility.
  • There must be at least five Trustees/Directors for organisations registered within England and Wales, and three Trustees/Directors for those registered within Northern Ireland and Scotland, to ensure organisations are in line with statutory requirements and best practice.  We will consider organisations with 3 or 4 directors/trustees in England, on a case-by-case basis.
  • Organisations have been established for at least one year.
  • Organisations must have a bank account in the organisation’s name, with two or more unrelated signatories.
  • Any reserves accrued by organisations are used to support your organisation (i.e., not for profit.)  Organisations may be required to submit a copy of their governing document, which shows a charitable / not for profit purpose.
  • Organisations produce annual accounts (or you set up your organisation less than 15 months ago and have not produced annual accounts yet). Please note – we will ask for copies of your full profit and loss accounts and a copy of your audit or independent examiners report, if available.
  • Organisations must have appropriate minimum standards in place to adhere to DofE licencing requirements.  This includes:
    • A safeguarding and/or child protection policy
    • A health and safety policy
    • Insurance documentation
    • Equal opportunities policy
    • An offsite visits policy (or similar).
    • To become a directly licenced centre (DLC), organisations must be incorporated.
  • The organisation is willing / able to contribute towards the reduced DofE licence fee (Year 1 will be fully covered by the grant, and 50% in year 2).
  • We will need details of two contacts as part of your application, one of whom will be the legally responsible contact for any grant awarded; these must also be unconnected.

Please note that all applications will undergo a due diligence check and organisations will be asked to produce documentation, including safeguarding policies and profit and loss accounts.  We will review the information supplied alongside publicly available information. This is to make sure that the information is correct and there are no significant risks we can identify when awarding grants.



Eligible geographic areas:

Funded organisations will need to operate within one or more of the following areas:

  • Greater Manchester, to include Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Oldham, and Tameside
  • Liverpool City Region, to include Liverpool, Knowsley, Halton, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens
  • East Midlands, to include Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, East Lindsey, Peterborough, Fenland and Corby.
  • Northern Ireland, the project will be country wide.
  • West Central Scotland, to include Glasgow City, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, and South Lanarkshire.
  • London and Greater London: Primary target areas will be: Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Newham, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Lewisham, Southwark, and Lambeth.  We will consider applications outside these areas in London on a case by case basis.


How much is the funding for and what can it be used for?

Grants of up to £10,250 for partner organisations are available to help get set up and support their young people to take part.  The funding can be tailored to the organisation’s needs and can vary as the project progresses. Examples of what would be included in the funding package are:  

  • A contribution to the DofE Licence Fee or Operating Authority fee.
  • Participation places for young people to enrol on DofE. 
  • Access to staff or volunteer training courses – such as National Governing Body Qualifications.  
  • The provision of an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) to run the expedition section for the organisation.
  • Expedition equipment or resources as required.
  • Support for delivery of the skills, volunteering, or physical sections of the Award – this could be training or equipment. 
  • Staffing and volunteer costs (up to 1/3 of the total grant)

Funding Package per organisation: 

The funding available for each centre can be used across the project (though must be spent by the 31 March 2025), with most of the funding for year one to establish the project. There is flexibility in how organisations can apply the funding.   

A DofE Operations Officer will work in conjunction with applicant organisations to ensure challenges are identified and appropriate support given, with the help of the DofE Regional Team. Should we identify a barrier to engagement that has not been accounted for, then we will consider reallocating costs as required. 

Example of funding across the 2 years (organisations can tailor this to their needs) 

Year 1: 
  • DofE licence fee (100%) 
  • Equipment for young people – Expedition equipment or equipment identified to access a sectional activity.
  • DofE participation places.
  • Adult leader training costs – delivered by an external provider, such as a National Governing Body.
Year 2: 
  • DofE participation places  
  • Licence fee subsidised (50%)
  • Adult training costs

Equipment and Training:

Equipment is likely to be key to setting up the DofE, whether for the expedition, or other aspects of the award. The funded equipment purchased is owned and retained by the organisation and should be loaned but not given permanently to participants. All items should be purchased within 12 months of receiving funding. Invoices/receipts will be requested at the end of the year. 

We will only fund reusable equipment. Requesting to fund single-use or disposable items, such as gas canisters, will cause grant applications to be rejected. 

Training will also be key, and the DofE have courses available to help you get set up and for the expedition aspects of the award.  Your Operations Officer will be able to give you further information on these.  The funding can also be used for training to enable delivery of the Volunteering, Skills, or Physical sections of the Award, for example through National Governing Body qualifications.

Action Plan

The Operations Officer and incoming DofE Manager at each partner organisation will need to create an Action Plan, which sets out how the Licensed Organisation or Centre will develop their provision over the first year, which will then be updated and re-submitted as part of the annual reporting requirements for the grant. This will need to be submitted to the Project Manager within eight weeks of receiving funding. 

Annual Reporting

We will ask you to work with us to complete an annual monitoring report for your grant.  Each of these end of year reports will cover your project expenditure, a progress report, and where applicable a funding request for the forthcoming project year.  The reports will also help us report back on the success of the project to our funders, Julia and Hans Rausing, and help us to ensure that your project remains on track.  They also ensure we adhere to Fundraising and Financial regulations.   We will also ask if you have any case studies to share with us (though there will also be opportunities for this throughout the project).

Our Operations Officers will help compile these annual reports, and once complete they will trigger the payment of the subsequent year of grant that has been applied for (if applicable). 

How do I apply?

The first stage is to send us an expression of interest form, which outlines eligibility. this can be downloaded here: Expression of Interest form.

To submit an Expression of Interest or to find out more, contact us directly at [email protected]g.  Your local Operations Officer will also be able to discuss the project and how we can support your organisation.   

Read about DofE participants who have been positively impacted by the Access Without Limits Funding:

DofE enabled Summer to discover a new side of herself READ MORE
Naeema’s confidence grows through her DofE READ MORE
DofE allows Mia to share her love of books with others READ MORE

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