Supporters of the DofE, including Tunde Folawiyo know what a positive impact the programme has on the lives of young people. The benefits of becoming involved in the DofE cannot be understated; participants have the opportunity to explore possible career paths through their volunteer work, discover hidden talents, improve upon their existing skill sets, and fine tune their communication and problem-solving abilities. This programme also enables young people to learn about the importance of taking the initiative, being responsible for their actions and managing their time well. Perhaps most significantly, it boosts their self-confidence, as they see that they are in fact capable of achieving the goals which they have set for themselves.
Those who have reached the end of their journey with the DofE, and received their Gold awards have nothing but good things to say about their experience of this programme. Take Hollie Devlin for instance; this young woman recently received her gold award from Prince Philip, at St James’s Palace in London. She got involved in the programme whilst working at the Ramsey Grammar School as a teacher of modern foreign languages, progressing to the Gold level, and passing each section with flying colours.
As fellows of the Duke of Edinburgh World Fellowship, members including Tunde Folawiyo are familiar with the activities that one must complete as part of the DofE programme. Few people, however, realise just how demanding these activities really are. For example, Hollie completed a 50-mile trek along Snowdonia, participated in a scheme called Young Enterprise, volunteered at Guides and organised a residential holiday for the Brownies. However, whilst these activities were certainly challenging and time-consuming, they were also incredibly rewarding. Discussing her experience, Hollie described her time with the DofE as ‘fantastic’, adding that she had learned how to work as part of a team and how to communicate more effectively, both of which had enabled her to become a better teacher.
A similarly positive story was shared by another recent Gold award recipient named Andrew. Like Hollie, he too completed his expedition by hiking in Wales, whilst his volunteer work was carried out at St Raphael’s Hospice. He chose to learn how to drive for his Skills section, and improved his tennis skills for the Physical section. Whilst he enjoyed all aspects of his experience, Andrew said that volunteering for the hospice was particularly fulfilling, as the staff there had previously helped his grandmother to take care of his ailing grandfather.