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Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award

If you’re 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.

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.


£70 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 £70 and is usually in a village hall or scout hut.  Often everyone is in one communal space.


We provide transport between the accommodation and site. We will pick you up from the nearest 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!

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

Each week long working holiday costs £70 per person which includes the cost of food and lodging throughout the week.  

Essential kit:

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

Optional kit:

  • driving licence
  • camera
  • insect repellent
  • sun cream
  • torch
  • water bottle
  • rucksack

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

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.

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 everyone is involved.

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.  

No! Our working holidays are open to anyone aged 18 or over.

The working day usually runs from 9am-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.

Our standard accommodation is best described as basic – usually village halls, scout huts or community centres unless otherwise stated … Don’t worry however as there will always be a hot shower on offer after a muddy day on site!

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.

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, tools 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.

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. 

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.

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. With the exception of safety boots, we will provide any safety equipment required to complete the job in a safe manner. 

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. 

We always aim to provide your working holiday as booked but occasionally we may have to cancel the 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 or give you a full refund. 

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

Our programme of working holidays is currently suspended