About Us


FOTA E&L (Friends of the Award Edinburgh and the Lothians) is both a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, and a charity. This provides both a robust financial structure and reporting system and the ability to fundraise to support our ambitions to make the DofE accessible to all.

Friends of the Award, known locally as 'FOTA', was established in 1998 with the remit to support the operation of the DofE throughout the Edinburgh and Lothians area. The charity has a Board of Directors and Management Committee composed entirely of volunteers. Board Members come from a variety of professional backgrounds – and give very generously of their time to manage and support the work of FOTA.

FOTA is partly funded by charitable donations and sponsorship. Within this new funding landscape we are building up our ability to generate some of our own funds through a variety of means.

Within recent years we have secured funding to extend the reach of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to more disadvantaged young people – working with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)and Inclusive Award Groups (allowing people out with mainstream schooling to complete their Duke of Edinburgh's Award).

“Friends of the Award have provided significant 'added value' to the delivery of the Duke od Edinburgh's Award in Edinburgh over a number of years. Through their innovative work they now have significant expertise in successfully using the Duke of Edinburgh's Award as a method of engaging marginalised young people, building capacity through partnership working and supporting volunteers.” Barry Fisher, Director – Scotland Duke of Edinburgh's Award 

Meet the FOTA Staff Team

 Neil Birch - Expedition Co-ordinator