Open DofE Expeditions for Individuals
From a Duke of Edinburgh's Award Approved Activity Provider
Our Packages include:
2 days training:
Our training sessions are either run as an additional 2 day camp, or added on to the start of the practice expedition. For all Gold expeditions, one of the training days is a refresher day/ build up day at the start of the qualifying expedition to ensure that the necessary skills and techniques are fresh in the participants’ minds, and allow our assessors to see that the team are safe and proficient in the mode of transport. The training days will involve covering the DofE training framework and providing route planning support- teams will be given time to start planning their qualifying expedition routes, to be completed either during the practice expedition They can have use of our Toughbook laptops to plan their routes in our mobile classrooms.
The practice expedition should be in a similar environment to the qualifier, and we can work with you to identify the most suitable area for your expeditions. Teams will be provided with printed maps and route cards, with their intended routes clearly shown on the maps. Supervisors will provide support and additional training where necessary during the practice expedition to help teams reach the required standard for assessment. Our teams are usually accompanied for the start of the practice, to allow our staff time to help refine the team's skills and ensure they have the knowledge and abilities to keep each other safe before being left to be self sufficient.
We provide accredited Assessors alongside our supervisory staff to support teams in the completion of the expedition section of the award. Routes are planned by the teams as part of their preparation for their qualifying expedition, and will be checked by ourselves for safety and suitability prior to the expedition commencing.
Equipment hire included :
All tents, Trangia stoves and gas, 2x hi-vis jackets per team, map cases, maps and route cards, safety packs, first aid kits.
Food is not included in this package; students must provide their own meals and any personal kit. all campsite fees are included. Students are expected to make their own way to the expedition area; we are able to offer pickups from a local train station and return drop off to the same station at the end of the expedition on request.
Safety and backup :
The most important question we’re asked is “what safety procedures do you have in place?” and our clients, parents and participants have always been satisfied with the answer.
First aid :
Minimum of 16hr first aid qualification for all staff, specific to the outdoors.
Teams receive basic first aid training as part of the package.
Course leader with in- depth first aid knowledge and experience and a comprehensive first aid kit and defibrillator available on all courses, able to deploy to any team as needed. Pete and Claire have both volunteered for the ambulance service for a number of years, attending 999 calls in the local community. This has given us experience in dealing with a broad range of health issues and injuries first hand, allowing us to deal with any situations arising in a calm manner. Any participants with specific medical issues that cause concern in their abilities to complete the expedition section under normal circumstances, please talk to us; we may be able to put additional support or variations in place.
Emergency contact numbers across two mobile networks to boost chances of receiving messages and/ or calls.
Staff carry radios for enhanced communication option.
Silver and Gold teams also carry radios and GPS units in a sealed box for emergency use. All teams are given training on emergency procedures, including use of the box at Silver and Gold, and use of a safety pack at Bronze.
Qualified Instructors suited to the environment, including Mountain Leaders and/ or canoe coaches, on the ground, meeting groups throughout the expedition to ensure the safety and welfare of each team.
Reduced mobility expeditions
Our 2020 Reduced mobility team now has more than the minimum numbers required to run. We will be offering short distances walking each day, with a strong focus on aim work. There will still be 8 hours of planned activity each day, and the expedition will be travelling through 'Wild Country'- remote, mountainous environment, but with the option to make use of well used footpaths to reduce the fatigue and joint aggrevation that can be worsened by undulating terrain. A big part of the challenge will be supporting other team members- learning about each other's conditions and what can be done to help each other along the way.
In 2019 we were delighted to work with an extraordinary team of young people, completing their Gold expeditions whilst dealing with a variety of health issues, including type 1 diabetes, hypermobility, PoTS, dyspraxia, and chronic fatigue. We had previously run reduced mobility expeditions for those with long term injuries, joint or back problems, but this team presented a whole new challenge to us and them. We worked together to identify a suitable distance each day on the practice, and the team planned their qualifier route carefully, with backup plans should any of them have a particularly bad day, and our experienced staff close on hand to deal with any issues arising. We hope to soon be adding to our website some of the resources they created for their aim work, which was guidance and advice for others dealing with similar challenges in the expedition environment.
About our reduced mobility options
We offer an option to complete our expeditions with shorter distances and more of a focus on aim work, for participants who are physically unable to spend the amount of time journeying that is expected of most DofE teams.
The 20 Conditions of Assessment state that participants must carry out a minimum number of hours of 'planned activity' during each day of the expedition; this is 6 hours for bronze, 7 for silver and 8 for gold, and that at least half of these hours should be spent journeying (inclusive of necessary breaks). They also state that your expedition must be self sufficient, but teams can have some equipment pre- positioned if they would be unable to carry everything, as long as they are carrying sufficient safety equipment.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award allows variations as necessary to the 20 conditions, for any individual or team who would otherwise be unable to complete the expedition due to additional needs, by prior application. We are happy to work with individual participants to identify the best expedition options for them; and aim to bring together participants who may struggle with similar issues to complete their expeditions together.
We appreciate that, for many, participants had hoped to complete their expedition with friends but may have discovered that the expedition provision offered was unsuitable or that the variation needed wouldn'tbe an appropriate level of challenge for other team members
We welcome applications for any of our expeditions for those with additional needs or medical limitations, and are happy to discuss whether a place on a standard expedition or an expedition with reduced distances and/ or increased supervision would be better. We offer variations on both our canoe and walking expeditions, and are happy to discuss suitability of each option. Please note that due to the locations we use in an attempt to give as close an experience to a 'standard' gold expedition as possible for those with minor disabilities, we are currently unable to offer places to any full time wheelchair users, but are happy to signpost to alternative providers who may be able to help. Please get in touch to discuss your availability and suitability.
The expeditions are run by Pete and Claire Rich, who have both volunteered for the ambulance service for a number of years, attending 999 calls and learning about emergency management of many conditions. We carry advanced first aid kits on all our expeditions, including a defibrillator and oxygen. We've both been running DofE expeditions for over 12 years, and in that time we have helped participants with a wide range of conditions who need extra support, closer supervision or adjustments in how the expedition is completed, and we're happy to do what we can to help young people complete their expedition.
We have a really good understanding of hypermobility, balance disorders, migraines, endometriosis, diabetes and asthma, and are happy to learn more about other conditions so that we can provide the right support and the right level of challenge for our participants. Please get in touch with Claire -Claire@Richadventure.co.uk or 01283 684030 to discuss your needs.