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Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award

If you’re aged 18 or over and looking to complete the residential part of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, our volunteer working holidays are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people!

Complete your Gold Award

We are an Approved Activity Provider.

If you are aged 18 or over, spend a week with us and complete the residential part of your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

No previous experience is necessary; just a willingness to have fun and get involved.

Our experienced leaders will explain everything you need to know once you’re there.


£80 for a week’s working holiday includes

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cooked breakfast, lunch on site and a substantial home-cooked evening meal … along with plenty of tea breaks!


Accommodation is included in the total price of £80 and is usually in a village hall or scout hut.  Often everyone is in one communal space (except for family camps, which have a higher grade of accommodation).


We provide transport between the accommodation and site. We will pick you up from the nearest rail or coach station on the first day if you arrive by public transport.  

Lots of fun

We aim to please and hope by the end of the week you will have made friends for life and enjoyed the laughs, the fun and maybe the mud!

Book your place

Volunteer constructing new pathway

This was definitely one of the best weeks of my life!!! If you are considering going on a camp, DO! You won’t regret it.

– Dave

FAQs for DofE’s Award Camp Participants

What will it cost?

Each week long working holiday costs £80 per person which includes the cost of food and lodging throughout the week.  

What kit do I need to bring?

Essential kit:

  • tough outdoor clothes
  • waterproofs (you never know with a British summer!)
  • sleeping bag and pillow
  • sleeping mat, airbed or camping bed
  • washing kit, towel & swimwear (showers are always available, but are sometimes at local sport centres)
  • casual clothes for the evening

Optional kit:

  • insect repellent
  • sun cream
  • water bottle
  • rucksack

We will provide all the necessary safety kit (Personal Protective Equipment) that you need, but you may prefer to bring your own steel-toe-capped boots or steel-toe-capped wellingtons.

Do I need to bring tools or equipment?

 You will be sent a full list of what to bring.  We will supply any equipment required, including hard hats.  All tools will be provided.

Do I need any experience? 

No previous experience is necessary; just a willingness to have fun and get involved. Our experienced leaders will explain everything you need to know once you’re there.

Will I fit in? 

Yes….whether you’re looking to help restore a canal, learn some new skills, do some physical activity, or just meet new people… everyone else will be there for similar reasons.  Our leaders make sure everyone has a job to do and that everyone is involved.

What if I have a medical condition? 

Please let the site leader know if you have any medical conditions that may affect your time with us. We can then make sure to organise suitable activities on site and during your relaxation time.  When you complete your form to apply for a space on Camp you will be asked about any relevant medical conditions.  

Am I too young or too old? 

Our working holidays are open to anyone aged 18 or over.  There is no upper age limit.

How much of the day is spent working?

The working day usually runs from 9am to 5pm (depending on the weather) with plenty of tea-breaks and lunch on site. In the evening, a substantial, home-cooked meal will be provided by your Canal Camp cook. Evenings are free and some social activities (e.g. swimming, visits to local attractions, cinema) will be organised by the leaders for people who want to join in.

Can I do this for my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

We welcome participants completing the residential aspect of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. All volunteers participating in the Award are asked to attend the Camp for the full seven days. Please note we do not accept bookings from groups of more than two DofE volunteers who know each other.

Do you have insurance?

We have insurance policies to cover our legal liability to volunteers and also to protect us against legal liability claims made by members of the public arising out of our activities. Your personal possessions (including clothing, glasses, contact lenses, medical equipment, kit, equipment and anything else) are not insured by us against accidental loss or damage. We recommend you don’t bring items of high or sentimental value.

How do I get there?

Travel instructions will be sent to you about ten days before your working holiday starts. They will include any last minute details, a map showing the location of the accommodation and directions for how to get there. 

What is the food like?

All meals will be provided with volunteers helping with catering and domestic chores on a rota basis although some working holidays have full time cooks. If you have specified a vegetarian or special diet on your booking form, please confirm your exact requirements with the leader before you arrive to make sure that suitable provision has been made. If you anticipate any difficulties, please bring special ingredients with you.

How do I stay safe?

You will get a Health & Safety Guide which you will need to read before you arrive  and you must be ready to follow the directions of the leader at all times when on site. Working holidays, as with any professional site, have to comply with current safety regulations. We will provide any safety equipment required to undertake activities in a safe manner. 

Can I cancel or transfer my booking?

Please let us know at least 21 days before the start of your booking if you wish to transfer to a different working holiday (subject to space being available); there is no additional charge for this. 

If you have to cancel your booking, your payment less a £10 administration charge will be refunded if your written cancellation reaches the booking office at least 21 days before the start of the working holiday.  Refunds cannot be made after this deadline, as provisions will have already been made for you. 

What happens if we change your booking?

We always aim to provide your working holiday as booked but occasionally we may have to cancel a Camp due to unforeseen circumstances such as low bookings, problems with the accommodation or work. In this unlikely event, we will make every effort to find you a suitable alternative working holiday to attend and offer you the option of a full refund. 

Is there a behaviour policy? 

Most Canal Campers are keen to get involved, have fun and complete the week’s tasks. We reserve the right to refuse bookings or terminate any participant’s holiday without compensation if their behaviour is likely to impair the enjoyment or health and safety of other volunteers.

Book Your Place

Wootton Brook Towpath upgrade