Gold qualifying letter from Kevin at Venture Out

Dear Parent / Guardian

Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Qualifier Expedition on Thu 30th Aug to Mon 3rd Sept.  I’m contacting you to confirm the arrangements.  If they no can longer attend please let the school know ASAP as this has an impact on the viability of their group.

I will be coordinating the event and will remain in the area all the time to support the group and Assessor.  I should be your ‘First contact’ if you need to get in touch with your child.  I’d remind you that there is often patchy signal in the area that we will be working, and I may not get a message from you for hours.  You can leave a message and I’ll return it when I pick it up.  You should also not be asking your young people to be ringing you to keep them updated.  Assume ‘No news is good news’.

Each day they will be out for at least 8 hours and be walking at least 16km and ascending about 500m.  Please ensure they have understood that this event will be harder than the Gold training event they did in July.  Their fitness, equipment and food need to be good.

Drop off- 30.08.18 – Day Zero / Acclimatisation day

North Lees Campsite

Birley Ln, Hathersage, Hope Valley S32 1BR


DofE require Gold groups to meet their Assessor the day before their expedition starts – this is to allow the assessor to go through pre-expedition checks with the group.  Then if there are problems with their equipment or their route then they have the rest of the day to sort out the problem without it affecting the start of the expedition the following day.


For that reason, the group only need to be at the meet up point at 1pm on this day.  Their assessor will then do a kit check with them, go through their route plan and then take them out for a short walk to revise navigation with them.   For a meal that night the girls can walk into the local village and buy a take away or they can cook for themselves – if they cook they must remember to bring an extra evening meal and an extra breakfast for the next day.

Campsites along the route:

Night 0

North Lees farm Campsite

Birley Ln, Hathersage, Hope Valley S32 1BR


Night 1

Lockerbrook Outdoor Centre

Snake Pass Road


Hope Valley

S33 0BJ


Night 2

Greenacres Campsite

Nether Booth

Edale S33 7ZH


Night 3

Hayfield Camping and Caravan site

Kinder Road


SK22 2LE


Pick up point.

Hope Car Park


S33 6RD

Monday 5pm


Getting lost – we have had problems recently with parents getting lost on the way to the drop off / pick up because they were using Google Maps and not a dedicated SatNav or SatNav app.  Google Maps can struggle in the countryside as it relies on you receiving a 4G signal to update the map position.  Please take precautions to download that area.  Please also be aware that postcodes are not an accurate place finder in the countryside, they can take you to a 1km area but not necessarily to the exact point (houses and farms are a lot more spread out in the countryside).  You must check the map before you set off and print it out.


Mobile phones

The Duke of Edinburgh Organisation recommend that we do not allow participants to have mobile phones whilst on expedition (day or night).  There are a number of reasons for this:

The participants are encouraged to ‘un-plug’ from the outside world and focus on becoming part of their team by socialising and supporting each other.

Mobile phones don’t stand up well to rain, mud, being crushed in pockets.  They run out of charge and there are no charging facilities on campsites.

There is patchy coverage in the countryside, and batteries die and so if you are waiting on a phone call from your young person and don’t receive it or you are trying to ring them to check on them, and they don’t call back – you get anxious for no reason.

For these reasons, we have always run and supervised expeditions in such a way that mobile reception is not required for supervision or safety:

Sometimes it is necessary for me to contact home if a young person takes ill or has forgotten equipment.  I have all the emergency contact details that you provided the school with and can contact parents if I need to.  You can contact me directly on  07980 306869  please only do this if it is an emergency, and remember, I too will have patchy reception and so may not get straight back to you.


Any questions or advice needed before the event please email me on directly as it is school holidays and Ms Hickman is on holiday.


Kevin Beattie

Programme Manager

07980 306869