Duke of Edinburgh expedition training for Suffolk Army Cadets

Cadets from Suffolk ACF doing expedition training sit at the edge of a field with their expedition equipment

A group of cadets from Suffolk packed their backpacks for a weekend of expedition training for their Duke of Edinburgh award.

This group from the Suffolk Army Cadets is one of thousands of cadets who have started, and continued, the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) programme despite the global pandemic. According to the report by DofE, a remarkable 330,000 young people continued with their DofE activities – a huge force for good, dedicating 1.8 million hours of volunteering, to local communities at a time when they needed it most.

Despite extensive school closures, suspended youth services and stay at home rules that restricted young people’s access to DofE during the year, 180,000 young people across the UK started their DofE and 45,000 achieved an Award.

Ruth Marvel, DofE CEO said: “Hundreds of thousands of young people have had the chance to develop the confidence, resilience and self-belief they need to be ready for anything life throws at them. These skills and attributes are critical for young people, helping them do better in education, improve their mental health, get the job they want and make a positive difference in their community.”

Expeditions have been promoted by Ulysses Trust as a brilliant way to re-engage young people after lockdown. The activity was organised by adult instructors who volunteer in he Army Cadets; it takes hours of planning to make a weekend of expedition happen! But for the adults who volunteer in the Army Cadets, it’s a worthwhile investment of their time and effort, because they see the cadets experience fun, friendship, and adventure as a result.