Drop-in held to raise DofE profile in the community

A STEADY flow of young people interested in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award attended a drop-in this week.

Scott Dorrity, DofE youth worker, runs through the award with Luke Bell, 13, from St Sampson’s High School. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 26950166)
Scott Dorrity, DofE youth worker, runs through the award with Luke Bell, 13, from St Sampson’s High School. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 26950166)

The session was aimed at raising the awareness of the award – a voluntary, non-competitive programme of cultural and adventure activities for young people – outside the school setting. The drop-in took place at Beau Sejour on Tuesday and saw several families attend to ask questions about signing up, what the award entails and how to complete it.

Anna Ensink, 16, and her mum Wendy came to query their next steps.

‘We’ve come to ask about how to complete one of the sections,’ said Mrs Ensink.

‘I teach the cookery section, so we were wondering how that would work. I mean she’s completed everything, we just want to clarify what happens now.’

Miss Ensink said she had enjoyed the award.

‘I’m doing the bronze at the moment,’ she said.

‘It’s good, I really like the volunteering aspect which helped me to get involved in the Adventure Club where we go swimming in the sea – it’s good fun, I like it.

‘I’d consider doing the silver and the gold award, so who knows.’

The Youth Commission, which recently took over the licence for organising the award, has just started running the drop-in sessions and hopes to run one a month.

The commission’s DofE manager, Rebecca Silk, said it was important to raise the award’s profile in the community.

‘The award is seen solely as a school award, but it isn’t,’ she said.

‘We want to be here in the community to give people the opportunity to talk to us and discuss with us anything they want.

‘This is open to anyone under 25 years old and our vision is to give all young people the chance to access this and discover their potential.’

She added there were many benefits to taking the award on.

‘It is a full-on commitment, but it is one that employers appreciate,’ she said.

‘There are skills that it provides, including teamwork, communication and life skills.

‘The good thing about being here today is that we can detail what makes the DofE worth it.

‘It’s gone well and it’s lovely to be in the community talking to young people and their parents. People have been able to ask us questions and not feel rushed and that is the whole point of this, for people to come in their own time to ask their own questions. We hope we’ve been able to help.’

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