Today’s young people are amazing. They care deeply about making a positive difference in their communities and the wider world.

But they are also facing unprecedented challenges – which is why it’s more vital than ever that all young people get the chance to take part in life-changing activities like the DofE.

In line with our strategy, Youth Without Limits, we are committed to ensuring that the DofE is open to all young people – and that our participants reflect the most diverse generation of young people ever.

To break down barriers to participation, we’re re-launching the Resilience Fund for 2023/24.

With the generous support of our donors, the new Resilience Fund will provide DofE Participation Places and Participant Bursaries to marginalised young people across the UK.

Who does this fund support?

This Fund supports marginalised young people to do their DofE for whom one or more of the below applies:

  • Those who have additional needs
  • Those who are deemed ‘at risk’*
  • Those who receive Free School Meals (FSM)
  • Those who are eligible for Pupil Premium (PP), Pupil Equity Funding or the 16- 19 Bursary
  • Young people at risk of exclusion from education
  • Those who are looked after or in care
  • Young people who are responsible for caring for someone else
  • Parents under the age of 18
  • Young people whose first language is not English, Welsh or Gaelic
  • Asylum seekers
  • Refugees
  • Young people in custody
  • Other – please discuss with your Operations Officer

* By ‘At risk’ we mean any young person who may be vulnerable due to, for example, their age, mental health, disability, illness, gender, race, religion, or belief sexual orientation, economic status or who may be unable to protect themselves from abuse.

What does this fund support?

Bronze, Silver, and Gold DofE Participation Places

Participant Bursaries:

  • Up to a maximum of £100 per young person
  • Can be used to cover one-off Approved Activity Provider (AAP) costs relating to the Expedition and/or Residential sections.
  • Can be used to cover food up to a maximum of £15 per day per participant for the duration of their Expedition.
  • Can be used to cover campsite, bunkhouse, or similar fees up to a maximum of £15 per day per participant for the duration of their Expedition.
  • Can be used to cover participant travel to/from their Expedition and/or Residential sections. Eligible costs would include a) train, bus or taxi fares; b) mileage rates (own vehicle) at 45p/mile.
  • Can only be used to cover the following personal expedition equipment:*

• Socks • Waterproof coat • Roll mat
• Boots • Waterproof trousers • Sleeping bag

All costs should exclude VAT unless the Licensed Organisation self-declares on the grant application form that they are unable to reclaim VAT. Then they should only include VAT for items which are eligible for VAT reclaim.

*Personal expedition equipment can be kept by participants beyond their DofE programme, enabling access to similar activities in the future. If any young person does not anticipate using that equipment beyond their DofE, we encourage the LO to collect unwanted items so that participants in future years can benefit.

Key dates

The Resilience Fund is now open for applications.

The fund will close to applications in the week commencing 11 March 2024, or sooner should the DofE decide to do so.

Application process

Step 1: Contact your DofE Operations Officer to find out more.

Step 2: If eligible, complete the DofE’s Grant Application Form with the support of your Operations Officer.

Step 3: Submit your application form, including reading and confirming you agree to the DofE’s Terms and Conditions.

Step 4: Your application will be reviewed, and you will receive an email from your Operations Officer confirming whether it has been successful or not.

Step 5: If successful, use your grant in line with the agreement, making sure you keep copies of all receipts/invoices.

Step 6: Complete an interim and final report by the dates stated on your application form.

Reporting requirements

Successful DofE Licensed Organisations will be required to complete an interim and final report by the dates stated on their application form detailing how their grant has supported young people from marginalised backgrounds to do their DofE and the impact this has had.

Please contact your DofE Operations Officer to find out more.


The Resilience Fund is generously supported by Gordon and Hilary Phillips, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, RSM, UK Power Networks and The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

Read about DofE participants who have been positively impacted by The Resilience Fund:

DofE has transformed Jay Jay from a “mischief maker” to a role model READ MORE
Leader Profile: Amy READ MORE

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