About us

Who Are We

The Warehouse Open Centre was founded in 2009, providing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme to young people aged 14 to 25 years old in the Ards and North Down area.

In 2024 we formed as a Community Interest Company (not for profit) and became a DofE – DLC (Directly Licenced Centre).

We are totally volunteer run and staffed with over 15 years experience operating as an Open Award Centre. Our volunteers are of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. Many have themselves completed their award and feel passionate about helping young people to experience The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Our volunteers take on a wide range of roles across the award centre, from assisting participants with their eDofE accounts, to planning and coordinating expeditions. Many of our volunteer expedition leaders hold recognised outdoor qualifications, vital to the successful operation of our expeditions.

What do we offer

We support and guide young people in their choices and help them along the way until they have fully completed their award. We operate a full training programme for the Expedition section of the DofE Award at all levels, including day walks and practice expeditions.

Why choose us

As an Open Award group, we operate to make the award available to all. Young people can join from Year 9 at Bronze moving to Silver in Year 10 and Gold after their 16th birthday. Young people are accepted at any level provided they meet the age requirements; you can join us as a direct entrant.

Where do I find out More

Click below for more information