Society Spotlight: SuDofE


SuDofe is a society that aims to support any willing students at the  University of Southampton to  achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Award. This award is an internationally recognized award and looks superb on any future CV, as it demonstrates real dedication and proactivity. To find out more about this exciting opportunity and other activities we run, I talked to Lauren the President of the society to find out more about SuDofe.

 Hi Lauren, what does your role within the society entail exactly?

Lauren: As  President of the society,  I am ultimately responsible and in charge of the overall running of SUDofE ensuring that any student who would like to complete their award at any level (although most of our members focus on Gold) is able to do so. This includes anyone who has already partly completed their award before university, as they can complete any outstanding section they need to do at the achievement centre we work with, Woolston. Also for those who have completed their Gold award already, they can undertake a leadership qualification so they can help future participants. If you are interested in this option, please contact us and our centre’s manager Gill Spratt.

What does the Duke of Edinburgh Award entail and who can do it?

Credit: Union Southampton

Lauren: The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is an achievement award for 14-25 year olds with Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. All stages of the award consists of  Physical, Volunteering, Skill, Expedition sections with Gold participants undertaking an additional residential section, the timescale of these varies according to what level of the award you are completing. You may already find that you are doing most of the award already at university without realising it, through the  various societies that you participate in. Anyone can complete the award, as long as long as you are under the age of twenty-five and you are determined enough to complete this challenge. However, I do think that the award is really fun and very worthwhile!

How often and where does the society meet?

Lauren: We meet outside the Student’s Union at 18:00 or the  Mitre at 18:15 on Thursday nights to travel by train from St Deny’s to the DofE centre we use at Woolston, to undertake expedition training throughout the year and to review progress made with the other section. We also have socials  which occur during the year.

What are your favourite things about the society, and why do you feel these are unique?

Lauren: It allows you to complete a  prestigious qualification whilst having lots of fun, helping people by making a difference and meeting new people all at the same time, I think that is pretty unique!

Credit: Jake Week, A picture of society members at our Fresher’s Camp last October in the New Forest.

What do you think is our biggest event of this academic year?

Lauren: Our Anniversary party to celebrate 60 years of the DofE award and 10 years of our own society, is being held on Saturday 4th March from 18:30 to 22:00 at the Highfield Church centre. It promises to be a night not to miss for DofE aficionados, with a roast dinner, celebration cake and a guest speaker from National DofE!

Can you tell me more about some of the socials the society runs?

Lauren: This academic year we have had a range of socials from Winchester fireworks in November (joint with SSAGO- Student Scouts and Guides association), that included a wonderful torch-lit procession through Winchester’s historic High Street, to a BBQ at the start of the year, Sprinkles trips after our Woolston meeting on Thursday, our annual Christmas meal (this year it was held at the Stile on Highfield Campus), and a Fresher’s Camp (but open to anyone who likes to camp and wishes to practise for DofE expeditions) last October in the New Forest.

Finally what three phrases would you use to describe SUDofE?

Lauren: Friendly, inspiring and challenging but fun.

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I mainly focus on news and travel, in my Wessex Scene writing. I am a third year History student at the University, who has a passion of learning more about the world around me and visiting new places when I can. I also enjoy doing many different societies at university, including: Wessex Scene!

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