Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


From January 2022, we will be observing the guidance issued by the National Youth Agency surrounding face to face meetings and outdoor gatherings as they have worked closely with government agencies to develop the guidance. The Charity Trustees remain committed to ensuring that any activity run by ODECs is compliant and in the spirit of the current guidance. 

National Youth Agency Guidance

The COVID risk assessment has been withdrawn from the website at the current time, pending review and can be shared on request.

If you have any questions regarding this, in the first instance, please contact the Leader responsible for your Award level and location. Should further information be required please contact Cathy Childs on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Documents detailing guidelines for planning and monitoring outdoor learning, and risk asessments wrere added. Click on the links to see these documents.

Planning and managing outdoor learning guidance

Risk Assessment


Further to my earlier message  and in light of the announcements coming out this evening, we've taken the difficult decision to pause our current expedition programme.
The weekly meetings will cease until after Easter, at which point we will review the position & share a further update.
This also means that the expeditions we have planned in April & May will be postponed. We will look for further options &/or to utilise the time aligned for the qualifying expeditions in the current programme & run practice ones then. Then, where necessary seek other dates for the qualifying one a little later. More to follow & all potential plans will, as I am sure you understand will be determined by the situation in a couple of months time.
We will be in touch over Easter or before, if we are in a position to share more information. 
In the meantime, please continue to work towards your other sections as best you are able,appreciating some of these activities may also be impacted too. Please continue to upload evidence and assessor reports to your eDofE accounts.
Where payments have been made already for trips coming up, they will be refunded to you.
We remain committed to supporting you to achieve your award & will work with you to provide a safe environment to do this. 
If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Many thanks

Cathy (Open DofE Centres in West Sussex Chair)



As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread we wanted to give you a view on how we are monitoring the situation.

West Sussex County Council (through whom we are licenced) are in regular contact with Public Health England to ensure we have the most up-to-date advice and information that is available. 

We still intend to go ahead with our regular  evening meetings as we have not, at present, received any recommendation to stop these meetings. 

However, in line with current guidelines we will take all reasonable precautions whilst we are at meetings, encouraging washing of hands with soap and water, the use of tissues/ handkerchiefs when sneezing/coughing. Most specifically when we are on outdoor activities we will strongly recommend that participants do not share water drinking bottles etc.

The current guidance from the NHS, which I am sure you have all seen, can be found here

Of course, our meetings are held in shared accommodation and we may, at any time, be asked by the site owner not to meet in their premises for a period of time.  If that happens we will, of course, let you know along with any alternative arrangements, where we can make them.

The DofE have shared the following in a recent communication they have sent:
"If the government moves from the containment stage to a significant period of “social distancing”, such as school closures and the banning of public gatherings, we will of course review our programme requirements and consider temporary modifications to minimise the impact on participants’ ability to continue and complete their programme."

For the time being it’s “business as usual” with each trip being reviewed in advance to reflect up to date guidance.  If we are advised, which is becoming increasingly likely, that we should postpone any of our trips we will, or course, give you as much notice as possible & share plans to re-schedule as soon as we can.   

 We hope that this will clarify our situation for you but please do get in touch if you have any questions.  

Please contact the leader of the DofE level in your location for more information. We will publish any Frequently Asked Questions, and their answers below.

Many thanks

Cathy (Open DofE Centres in West Sussex Chair)

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