Making Memories… Giving Hope

Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award

Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award

Are you looking to complete the ‘Residential’ section of your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

CHICKS is an Approved Activity Provider for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. If you are aged between 18 to 24 and need to complete the ‘Residential’ section of your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, you can apply to be a ‘Respite Break Volunteer’ on a CHICKS respite break.

  • Five days and four nights away from home at one of the three CHICKS retreats in Devon, Cornwall or Derbyshire
  • Actively participate in the activities arranged for a group of 16 disadvantaged children. These are often new experiences for the volunteers too! 
  • Interacting with children from all walks of life and being a mentor and friend to them for the week.
  • There will be up to five other volunteers sharing the break with you so you will have a chance to interact with them and learn from their experiences too. 
  • Pre-break training for all volunteers – a great chance to pick up some tips before the children arrive and to meet the team for the week!
  • It's free! All you need to cover is the cost of transport to and from our pick-up points. The meals (home-cooked dinners!), accommodation and activities are all covered by CHICKS!

Sign me up! 

One of our previous Duke of Edinburgh's Award participants, Anna, told us: 

For me, one of the most important things about DofE is being able to choose activities you enjoy, and not just doing things for the sake of getting them signed off. When I read the description of CHICKS, it seemed the perfect opportunity – it was essentially a week of playing with children, which I loved, it would count towards my DofE and it was free! I was guided through the application process which was straightforward and surprisingly quick and before I knew it I was on the train to Exeter. 

"My week at CHICKS genuinely exceeded all my expectations. For one thing, I hadn’t expected to have quite so much fun myself, such as being able to ride a horse alongside the children. But the real highlight of the week is of course seeing such a wonderful group of deserving children have the time of their lives, which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have. Their courage as they tried new activities, the new friendships they made, and just the looks on their faces each day were so moving and you can really tell how much their week at CHICKS really means to them. 

"It is amazing to see the children develop over the week in this supportive community, and the bonds they make with staff, volunteers and the other children. To have been a part of that is a massive privilege and I will definitely be back!"

For more information about how to apply, click here.