Each year, thousands of people begin their DofE journey, in the hopes of one day receiving the programme’s top prize, the Gold award. People who are familiar with this programme, such as Tunde Folawiyo, understand that receiving the Gold is an outstanding achievement – one which recipients are likely to cherish for the rest of their lives.
Recently, dozens of young people from across the UK finished the final stage of the programme, and received their Gold awards. Ellen Chilcott and Harry Tavare joined the DofE after they began studying at Somerset College, undertaking their projects in their spare time. Discussing his experience with a journalist, Harry explained that the programme had improved his organisational skills, and given him a great deal of confidence in his own abilities.
Ellen had an equally positive experience, stating that her volunteer work with a charity shop had been hugely rewarding, and that she had made many new friends as a result of her involvement with the DofE. Whilst she admitted that at times, it had been challenging, she said that in the end, it had been worth it. Both Harry and Ellen will be receiving their official certificates at a ceremony in St James’ Palace this month.
Three young students from the Channel Islands, named Yasmin, Rowland and Sophie, will also be collecting their Gold awards this February. Like Harry and Ellen, they all had very positive experiences; Rowland said that his DofE expedition had helped him to understand the importance of team work, co-operation and perseverance, whilst Yasmin said that she is confident that completing the programme in its entirety will help her with future challenges, such as university interviews and job applications. This is precisely why Tunde Folawiyo, and other people are in favour of youth development programmes like the DofE; it gives young people a head start, and makes it considerably easier for them to achieve their professional ambitions.
Several teenagers from Berkshire are also due to receive their Gold certificates during the coming weeks. One of the recipients, Luke Crisford, spoke enthusiastically of the 4-day DofE expedition he had taken, which involved a 60-mile canoe trip, beginning in Fort William, and ending in Inverness. He explained that this activity had allowed him to understand the value of working as a team, and of persevering when faced with challenging circumstances. He finished by saying that he would recommend the DofE programme to all teens.