Applying to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award | Tunde Folawiyo

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has long inspired millions of students to explore personal growth and responsibility. Through the encouragement of supporters including Tunde Folawiyo, the Duke of Edinburgh’s World Fellowship continues to assist our generation’s youth in striving for greatness in all aspects of life including personal discovery, self-reliance, perseverance and service to their community.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme consists of four mandatory sections focused on personal success including fitness, skill, volunteering and adventurous journey. With three levels of Award to be accomplished, participants are encouraged to reach their fullest potential. As a non-competitive process, participants are able to fully focus on their achievements without worry of rivalry.

To apply to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, students must begin by registering with a licensed operator. Participants must be between the ages of 14 and 25 in order to be considered. Upon this, students must determine which level of the award they wish to complete. A coordinator with the organisation will serve as a most helpful source of guidance throughout the duration of the process, so it’s of great importance that students form a trusted bond with this individual.

Upon the applicant receiving his/her record book and choosing Assessors, the activities can then begin. Another important aspect of this process is to keep in contact with Assessors and Tunde FolawiyoCoordinators to ensure guidance throughout the entire way. After each area is complete, an assessment will take place and after completion, the section can then be marked as achieved.

The fitness, or physical recreation section of the programme revolves around fostering a positive body image and quest for health. Whether through a team sport or individual exercise, promoting health is among the Award’s top goals.

During the skills section of the programme, participants are urged to showcase their unique talent and broaden their capabilities, embracing new and interesting activities they may have not considered before.

Volunteering is another major aspect promoted by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Participants are urged to take part in charity work or environmental work to fully grasp the significance of caring for fellow man.

While taking part in the adventurous journeys of this training period, students are encouraged to document their experiences via photos, videos and sound tracks. Once these areas are completed, a final assessment will be administered after which the section may then be marked complete. Through these initiatives and the ongoing encouragement provided by supporters of the programme such as Tunde Folawiyo, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will continue to motivate youth for years to come.

DofE award recipients across the globe celebrate their achievements | Tunde Folawiyo

The DofE award system consists of three levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold, with Gold being the highest of the three. Philanthropists who like Tunde Folawiyo have heard of this programme, know how much work is involved, and therefore understand just how momentous an occasion the Gold Award ceremony is.  This award represents the participants’ dedication to the programme, and their ability to successfully overcome a variety of physical, mental and social challenges. In most cases, a person will receive their award at an official ceremony within a year of completing their final task.

Recently, a number of students from Gateways School, in Yorkshire, made the journey to St James’s Palace in London, to receive their Gold Awards from Prince Philip. The school has been involved in the DofE since it was first given a Local Operating Authority licence two years ago. Having this licence means that the school has met the specific standards of training and safety outlined by the DofE committee. Its students are very enthusiastic about the programme, and have established an impressive completion rate of 86% thus far.

The Headmistress at the school, Dr. Tracy Johnson, remarked that she and the other teachers were very proud of what the students had achieved, adding that it takes a great deal of commitment tTunde Folawiyoo complete all of the work required. She finished by saying that the students all thoroughly deserved the awards they received.

Of course, the DofE award is not just available within England; with the support provided by the Duke of Edinburgh World Fellowship, whose Fellows include businessman Tunde Folawiyo, other countries have been able to participate in this programme as well. Not too long ago, 99 Australian students, including several from Boroondara and the Mornington Peninsula, received their Gold awards at an event held at Government House.

It took each of these young people 10,000 hours to complete all of the tasks which they had been set; one of the recipients, Skye Nisbet, discussed the many benefits of having been involved in the programme, explaining that the skills which she acquired during that time had enabled her to achieve many of her own personal goals. Another winner, named Sarah Colahan, expressed a similar sentiment, remarking that the volunteering aspect of the programme had been particularly memorable, and had helped her to choose her future career; she now wishes to improve the living conditions in third world countries, by working with a non-profit organisation.


The significance of leaders within the DofE programme | Tunde Folawiyo

The importance of the DofE leaders’ role in the programme cannot be understated; without the guidance and encouragement which they offer the young participants, the number of people who finish all of the tasks would be considerably lower. As well as supporting the overall mission of the DofE, these leaders also have a number of practical responsibilities, such as helping to run the DofE centres, and offering advice to participants who may be struggling with specific aspects of each task.

Tunde FolawiyoDepending on their area of expertise, a leader may be involved with the Expedition, Skills, Physical or Volunteering section at the Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels. It is their job to inspire and support participants, as well as to approve their activity choices, and monitor their progress. As an assessor, they must be DofE accredited, and approved by the relevant licensed organisation. Supporters of this programme including Tunde Folawiyo understand that a leader’s supervisory responsibilities are of particular importance; they must be experienced in the activity selected by each participant, and must carve time out of their schedule to check on the participant’s progress, adjust their goals and help them to address any issues which they might be facing. Leaders in a supervisory role are actively involved in the Expedition section of each level; it is their job to attend these excursions, and ensure that the participants stay on track, and remain safe whilst carrying out the required tasks.

Much of the work carried out by these leaders is done on a voluntary basis; it is because of this selfless support, and the contributions of Fellows of the Duke of Edinburgh Fellowship, including Tunde Folawiyo, that the DofE is able to continue to nurture and support young people around the world. Just recently, a teacher from New Zealand, by the name of Helen-May Burgess, was the recipient of a special award from the programme.

The committee wanted to honour this woman, who had been helping her students with their DofE tasks for over 27 years. Burgess has worked at St Hilda’s Collegiate College for decades, offering her expertise and advice to DofE participants, in addition to teaching at the school on a full-time basis. For her years of dedicated service to the programme, Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Governor General, presented her with a framed certificate at a ceremony held in the city of Dunedin. Over the course of almost three decades, Burgee mentored hundreds of young participants, and supervised 23 students as they completed all of their tasks at Bronze, Silver and Gold level.

A look at the DofE Bronze level activities | Tunde Folawiyo

Those who support the DofE Programme, like the businessman Tunde Folawiyo, understand that completing the Bronze level tasks is, in and of itself, a great achievement, as it requires a considerable amount of tenacity and commitment. It is also the first step towards achieving the highest honour within the programme – the Gold award. The Bronze level can be completed by anyone aged 14 or over, and consists of four sections, including Skills, Physical, Expedition and Volunteering.

Tunde FolawiyoAt this stage of the programme, participants must dedicate a minimum of three months to the Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections, and 2 days to the Expedition. Following the completion of these activities, they must then spend an additional three months focusing on one section of their choosing. In total, it should take at least six months to finish this particular level.

As someone who is familiar with this programme, Tunde Folawiyo understands that the Bronze level provides young people with a fantastic opportunity to get a head start in developing important life skills; the preparation for each section helps them to learn about the importance of having strong organisational and research abilities, and teaches them the value of being independent and self-sufficient.

During the preparation stage, they also begin to understand the process of setting realistic, measureable and challenging goals for themselves. The activities themselves are, of course, equally beneficial, as they help young students to develop confidence in their own abilities, and cultivate a sense of responsibility, as participants know they must dedicate several hours each week to completing their tasks. As each month passes, their intellectual, social and physical skills become stronger and stronger.

The awards for this level are given out at special ceremonies throughout the year; for many participants, these events are one of the main highlights of their time in the DofE programme. Recently, a student named Jayme Gower, from King Alfred School, received her Bronze award, after completing her volunteer work at the lifeboat station in Burnham-On-Sea. Jayme dedicated six months to the station, often working in severe weather conditions on the emergency ‘shouts’ and training sessions.

She also arranged a number of events to fundraise for the station, and attended several out-at-sea lifeboat sessions, where she was able to watch as the crew carried out their most important practical training exercises. Lyndon Baker, who serves as the coordinator for the station described Jayme as a ‘true asset’, adding that she had become an integral part of the group over the course of the last six months.