Sutton Open Award Centre (SOAC) Gold Award

The Gold Award is open to all young people aged 16+ who live or go to school within the London Borough of Sutton.

There are five sections to the Gold Award, Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Residential and the Expedition.  Participants spend a minimum of twelve months volunteering.  For the Physical and Skills sections, they must spend a minimum of twelve months on one and six on the other.  The Expedition involves planning, training for and undertaking a four day (three night) expedition.  For the Residential section, which is undertaken at Gold only, participants must take part in an activity away from home for five days and four nights with people they do not already know.

Direct Entry: Participants can jump straight into the Gold Award without completing a Silver Award.  Participants will need to do a further six months either volunteering or doing whichever of the physical or skills activity they spent more time on.  Direct entrants must be at least 17 and a half years old before they complete their Gold Programme.

NB: No activities can count towards the Award until the participant’s 16th birthday.

If you’re a member of this site, you can get access to the Gold Group where you can ask questions about the award, discuss your expeditions, keep up-to-date with the latest news and chat to others taking part. If you would like to become a member, please send an email to and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Requirements of the Award
Once you hit 16 you can do your Gold DofE programme.

You’ll spend 12 months on your Volunteering section. For Physical and Skills you must spend 12 months on one and six months on the other – you decide which way round you do it.

The big difference at Gold, is you’ll also do a Residential section – staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don’t know. It’s great fun and a real chance to do something different!

If you’ve jumped straight into your Gold DofE programme you’ll need to do a further six months either volunteering or whichever one of your physical or skills activities you spent the most time on.

This table gives you a summary of what you have to do: