Voluntary Service – Dukeofed
Voluntary Service

Voluntary Service

The Service section of the Award encourages young people to volunteer their time to and understand the benefits of this service to their community.

Participants are required to give service (volunteer) over a set period of time that enables them to experience the benefits that their service provides to others.

Examples of Service:

  • Volunteering with the RFS, SES or other civil service organisations
  • Visiting and supporting people in need, such as the elderly, or those with disabilities
  • Volunteering at a hospital or local care home
  • Sports coaching
  • Charity work
  • View more here

Time requirements:

  • Bronze – at least 3 months or 6 months if chosen as a Major Section
  • Silver – at least 6 months or 12 months if chosen as a Major Section
  • Gold – at least 12 months or 18 months if chosen as a Major Section

For Full Section Details see Chapter 5 of the Handbook

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 5.4 for full details

For this Section, Participants must:
1. Undertake an activity regularly where they are donating their time to a genuine cause for the required length of time depending on the Award level chosen.
2. Meet the minimum time requirements depending on the Award level chosen.
3. Show regular commitment, progress and improvement in their chosen volunteer activity.
4. Understand that regular time commitment means at least one (1) hour per week (refer to handbook 1.6.3 for Time Requirements Explained)
5. Undertake activities substantially in their 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

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 5.5 for full details

Assessment is undertaken by a suitably experienced and/or qualified Assessor (Volunteer#) who has been nominated by the Award Centre or identified by the Participant, and approved by their Award Leader, on behalf of the Award Centre. Please note that the selected Voluntary Service activity may require Assessors to be qualified or registered with a relevant club, institution or accredited

In most circumstances an Assessor should not be an immediate family member.
Assessors both help Participants set goals for their chosen activity and assess whether or not a Participant has undertaken the required regular effort and has strived to achieve their goals. Group activities are to be assessed with regard to each individual’s contribution to planning,execution and completion.

Assessors are responsible for writing the final assessment report and signing off the Section which they are assessing. The frequency of the contact and monitoring between the Participant and the Assessor will depend on the activity and the age/level of independence of the Participant. As a guide, every 2 – 4 weeks may be appropriate.

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 5.7 for full details

1. Choose your activity. If there’s something you really want to do but don’t know how to go about it, talk to your Award Leader, your family, your friends, and do some research online.
2. With the guidance of your Award Leader, identify your Assessor(s). They must be suitably experienced and/or qualified and be approved by your Award Leader before you can undertake any Duke of Ed activities with them.
3. You may identify your Assessor(s) yourself, or with the help of your Award Leader. They must be suitably qualified or experienced and approved by your Award Leader Award Centre.
4. Set yourself challenging and realistic goals, in consultation with your Assessor(s). It is really important that you do this before you start your activity, so you know what you are working towards.
5. Undertake any necessary training as required by the organisation.
6. Pursue these goals for the required time (depending on The Duke of Ed level being undertaken), and log hours and activity into your Record Book.
7. You may like to keep a journal. This could be a diary, photos, video, or a blog.
8. Keep in touch with your Assessor so they can monitor your progress and discuss any concerns you may have about achieving your goals.
9. Once you have completed your activity and reached your goal, ask your Assessor to complete your final assessment in your Record Book.
10. Remember, your Award Leader and Assessor are there to guide you and help with any questions you have along the way, so don’t be afraid to ask!
11. Once you have completed all your Sections, submit your Record Book to your Award Leader for final assessment of your Award.

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 5.8 for full details

Below are some ideas for the Voluntary Service Section to discuss with your Participants. Remember, this list is a guide only and is not exhaustive – the list of possible activities is almost unlimited.
The best measure for deciding whether or not an activity is suitable is to assess whether the Participant is donating their time in order to help others or to help a cause, and that they can learn and benefit from their service. If in doubt, please contact your State/Territory Award Operating Authority for advice.
Please note that many of these activities could be undertaken individually or as part of a group. If doing as part of a group, each Participant must set their own goals and ensure they are challenged at a personal level.

Environmental service
– Participating in a conservation project, e.g. clearing weeds, cleaning a river, or caring for threatened wildlife or trees.
– Caring for a public/school garden.
– Providing, maintaining, and encouraging the use of public wastepaper bins.
– Working in a clean-up campaign.
– Bush and natural environment regeneration.
– Joining local Landcare/Bushcare groups.
Emergency services
– Helping an emergency service team, eg SES, RFS, CFS, St John’s Ambulance, Royal
– Assisting with local or national disaster operations.
Note: Completing training alone does not fully meet the requirements for this Section, e.g. a first aid course or emergency skill (e.g. an SES Communications Course). Practical service must also be given such as attending events as a First Aider.
Animal welfare
– Caring for animals under threat.
– Assisting with organisations who care for neglected and abandoned animals, such as the RSPCA or WIRES.
– Walking the dog of an elderly or disabled person.
– Wildlife rescue.
Charity work
– Fundraising for a charity – this could be through fundraising events such as organising a school fundraising drive.
– Producing a newsletter for a charity.
– Creating or maintaining a charity website.
– Helping out at a charity clothing store.
Youth work
– Acting in a leadership role in a youth club, school or uniformed youth organisation.
– Helping other young people participate in The Duke of Ed by acting as a leader for Bronze or Silver Participants (under the guidance of one’s own Award Leader).
– Community education and health education.
– Working with experienced persons to educate the local community, or specific groups within it, on important health issues such as malaria or AIDS education, primary health care, immunisation

Teaching/assisting a person to read or write.
– Assisting in the teaching of primary school children.
Note: Undertaking school based activities such as SRC or Peer/Buddy Programs must comply with the requirements that a substantial amount of the activity is to be undertaken in the Participant’s own time, e.g. lunch breaks, before or after school
academic hours.
People in the community
– Visiting people in need, such as elderly or disabled people, on a regular basis to provide assistance with shopping, gardening or other domestic tasks, or simply to keep them company.
– Voluntary work in hospitals, libraries and care centres.
– Visiting prisons or detention centres (under the auspices of the proper authorities).
– Helping with a local community radio or newspaper.
Note: unpaid baby-sitting, especially in private homes would normally not meet the requirements of this Section. If the baby-sitting was assisting at a local clinic, playgroup on a regular basis it would apply as would baby-sitting/child care in a private home for respite purposes. There are also important safety and carer requirements associated with this type of Voluntary Service that need to be carefully considered.
Sports and leadership
– First aid – doing a course and then making their skills available to the benefit of the local community i.e. being a first-aider at football matches or dance competitions etc.
– Coach your local junior sporting team.
– Referee/umpire at sporting games for junior teams.
– Completing patrols for your local Surf Life Saving club.


“Challenge yourself to be a responsible, caring member of the community.”