Friends of the Award

Supporting Young People to Achieve

It was with great sadness that the FOTA team learnt of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The Award that the Duke founded in 1956 has given millions of young people a new sense of purpose and pride. Since FOTA was founded in 1998 we have worked tirelessly to support young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians, especially those facing additional challenges. The DofE Award provides the ideal structure for young people to develop themselves, overcome challenges and gain self-confidence and resilience. In 2021, after a year of the coronavirus pandemic, the DofE has never been so relevant for young people whose lives have been turned upside down. Throughout this time FOTA have continued to support young people to overcome challenges, working with a wide range of partner organisations and with the generous support from individuals and organisations who share our vision. 

Over the years, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has impacted on so many young people’s lives and this is demonstrated below:

“FOTA’s CAMHS DofE project helped me a lot to increase my self-confidence and have a more positive self-image.  I have a diagnosis of Autism, Bipolar Disorder and Hyperthyroidism.  When I was in high school, I tried to register for DofE but couldn’t cope with it.  In March 2019, I was not well mentally that I needed to be admitted to a Young Person’s Unit and the Occupational Therapist told me about this project. The FOTA Development Officer is very friendly and patient.  She always encourages me to continue with my exercising even when I’m feeling down.  I was looking forward to the expedition, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, I was glad that FOTA started a “nature group” using Zoom during lockdown so we can continue with our activities. I have successfully completed my Bronze DofE and am now working towards Silver and then Gold.  I can’t thank CAMHS DofE project enough for all their support, without them I wouldn’t be able to do my DofE, which had a huge impact on my well-being and health in general.”

A participant in our Mental Health DofE project

If you have special memories of your DofE then you can share them through the DofE website:  share them through the DofE website.

We are determined to continue the Duke of Edinburgh’s legacy to support organisations and individuals within these groups to gain confidence, skills and the experiences that the Duke of Edinburgh Award provides. 

Find out more about FOTA’s current projects