Friends of the Award

Supporting Young People to Achieve

Our Vision:

Every young person in Edinburgh and the Lothians will have the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) and Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) achievement awards.

Our Mission:

To work in partnership with Operating Authorities and Local Organisations throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians to complement and support delivery of the DofE and JASS, as well as targeting resources to ensure that both Awards are ‘Open to All’.

Current Projects

Supporting disadvantaged young people to achieve DofE and JASS

CAMHS meeting photo

DofE in CAMHS and the Community

Launched in 2006, this project works in partnership with NHS Lothian's Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Delivered using community-based mentoring, we support young people with experience of mental health difficulties to participate in the DofE.


Youth Development Project

Working with local Youth centres, school Additional Support Needs units and our own Open DofE Group, we aim to increase opportunities for disadvantaged young people to participate in the DofE, reducing social and increasing access to education and training opportunities.


DofE Delivery in Schools

We are delivering DofE and JASS to hard-to-reach learners and Enhanced Complex Needs Units in a number of High Schools in the Lothians, partly funded through the Pupil Equity Fund.

"Friends of the Award have provided significant 'added value' to the delivery of the Duke of 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

Expedition Support


Open Expeditions

We offer high-quality, team-focused, inclusive expeditions for young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians who have missed a DofE expedition or wouldn't otherwise be able to complete expeditions.


Training for Leaders

We offer a wide range of training courses to ensure to those involved in delivering DofE, JASS and Outdoor Learning.
This includes the Lowland Leader Award and DofE Modular Training Framework courses.


Kit Store

Based in Slateford, Edinburgh, our outdoor equipment rental service ensures that young people, schools and families can take part in walking, camping and expeditions irrespective of their background.

A world wide Accredited Learning Programme for young people of all ages and abilities. JASS recognises wider achievement and supports the transition between primary and secondary education.

“JASS is fantastic at providing a goal centred individual programme and allows pupils to reflect. It encourages a growth mindset and self-confidence.”

Support Us



We're seeking adults with a wide range of skills to assist with leading Duke of Edinburgh's Award Groups and Expeditions, to help in our Kit Store and other opportunities. You'll benefit from a wide range of training opportunities, a supportive network and discounts on outdoor kit.


Much of our work relies on charitable donations. You can donate online, by text or at no cost whenever you shop online. Or contact us to discuss fundraising or grant funding.

Partner with us

We're always open to ideas for joint working with other organisations. Contact us to discuss your ideas.

Donate equipment

We're always grateful for donations of serviceable used and new outdoor equipment for our Kit Store.

Group Membership

Local youth groups and schools can join FOTA to access discounted hire from our Kit Store.

Thanks to our Funders and Partners