A life-changing experience. A fun time with friends. An opportunity to discover new interests and talents. A tool to develop essential skills for life and work. A recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.
The DofE is many things to many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life.
14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity. Here at St Cuthbert's, our students take part in the Bronze Awards.
However, this should be more than a participant babysitting, or helping out with their usual chores!
As with all DofE activities, they should be structured and help the participant to meet the benefits and outcomes of the Volunteering section.
Participants can choose to volunteer to help any family member, but we would suggest coaching or mentoring a family member, particularly younger siblings, as an activity which can easily be structured and help meet the outcomes of the section.. This could include:
– mentoring a younger sibling and helping them with their schoolwork or homework.
– coaching a sibling or another family member to learn an instrument or develop another skill.
– organising a sports session or arts and crafts session for someone they live with to participate in.
If a participant wants to help another family member in a different way, then their DofE Leader will just need to check it’s suitable by ensuring it fulfils the aims of the section.
As with all DofE activities, to maintain the value and integrity of a young person’s Award, an Assessor cannot be a family member. However, you can find some useful information on finding an Assessor here.
Previously, participants could only change activities once per section. However, due to the pandemic, we know many participants have already changed activities to something they can do from home, and will want to resume their original activity once social distancing limitations are lifted.
Some activities participants are doing from home may also not continue when normal life returns (e.g. helping with the coronavirus efforts in their community) so they will need to find something new.
Participants can find out how to change an activity on eDofE. If changing activities more than once, participants will need to use ‘revert to draft’ and resubmit their programme planner with their new activity. Participants will also need to upload an Assessor’s Report for each activity they have done onto their eDofE account.
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