AS A LEADING DofE EXPEDITION PROVIDER, WE HAVE HAD TO MAKE A DIFFICULT DECISION, BUT ONE THAT IS A JUSTIFIED AND RESPONSIBLE APPROACH TO THE CURRENT SITUATION, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE RESPONSIBILITY WE HAVE FOR THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF OUR CUSTOMERS AND STAFF, THEREFORE, THE STATEMENT BELOW HAS BEEN ISSUED TO PARTICIPANTS REGISTERED ON OUR ‘OPEN’ EXPEDITIONS’. WE HAVE ALSO LIAISED WITH THE NUMEROUS SCHOOLS AND ORGANISATIONS WE SUPPORT ACROSS THE UK TO POSTPONE DofE EXPEDITIONS UNTIL GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE AND SAFETY PERMITS US TO RESUME DELIVERY AND SUPPORT FOR THE EXPEDITION SECTION.
Following the most recent announcement, given on 18th March 2020, from the Government to close all schools and further education colleges (although we are not directly governed by this for our ‘open’ expeditions), we believe it is both sensible and prudent that we postpone our planned ‘Open Gold DofE Expedition Week’, 5th – 10th April (combined training & practice expedition); 6th – 10th April (practice or qualifying expedition) in the Black Mountain area of the Brecon Beacons National Park as well as our ‘Open Bronze & Silver Expedition Week’ 13th – 18th April in the Long Mynd area of Shropshire, to comply with the continued advice from the Government, ensuring the safety and welfare of our customers and staff.
The DofE have also issued a statement relating to practice and qualifying expeditions for Gold & Silver levels that offers a positive approach to the completion of the Expedition section:
‘Some Gold students are unlikely to be able to do their practice expedition due to the coronavirus outbreak. Can they just do their qualifying expedition and still achieve their Award?
At Gold and Silver levels, practice expeditions are an important part of the preparation and training participants undertake to ensure that they can undertake a safe and enjoyable remotely supervised expedition. For that reason, all Gold and Silver participants will still have to do both a practice and qualifying expedition.
But we’re determined that young people shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to achieve their Award because of coronavirus. We’ll be sharing ideas about how participants can continue their programme at this time, as well as working with LOs and AAPs to help participants to access an expedition once the crisis is over. We’ll issue more updates in the next few days.
Remember, DofE expeditions can be run throughout the year, not just in the traditional ‘expedition season’. LOs and AAPs which choose to run expeditions later in the year may wish to consider using indoor accommodation to facilitate a safe and enjoyable expedition for their participants. In any event, the DofE charity will work with LOs to minimise any potential negative impact on a participant’s progress through their DofE.’
Currently, our planned ‘Open Gold DofE Expedition Week’, 25th – 30th May (combined training & practice expedition); 26th – 30th May 2020 (practice or qualifying expedition) and ‘Open Bronze & Silver Week, 25th – 30th May, with the same venues, will go ahead. Please see the relevant pages of our website for further details and online application form, or contact us for further information. However, these may also be affected by any future measures imposed by the Government to combat COVID-19 and postponed, if required. Therefore, if developments take place that affect the running of the expeditions, we will notify all those registered as soon as practically possible to offer alternative options.
CTS STAFF TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO WISH ALL OUR CUSTOMERS AND STAFF A SAFE PASSAGE THROUGH THESE DIFFICULT AND CHALLENGING TIMES.