Kyle Kinsella got involved with the DofE through school because he liked the idea of being able to go camping; but he never thought that participating in his DofE would give him new found confidence and the direction he was looking for in his future career.
Before the DofE, Kyle was shy and had very little confidence. His DofE coordinator suggested he would enjoy volunteering at the youth club, Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied (PHAB). At first he was hesitant about going but soon found he gained a lot of enjoyment working with the young people, helping them to build communication and life skills. Kyle explained, “To start with, I was just going to complete my DofE but soon found it became a huge part of my life. I always talked about it in my day to day and looked forward to attending each week. It became more than my Volunteering section for my DofE.”
Kyle started volunteering at the club over three years ago and continues to dedicate six hours of his time each week. The experience of working directly with young people, with and without disabilities, has led to Kyle’s decision to study for a BTEC level 3 extended diploma in Health and Social care; “I previously had no idea what I wanted to do but working towards my DofE made me realise the career path I wanted to pursue and I am now studying towards becoming a qualified youth worker.”
Speaking about his volunteering, Kyle said, “It has been my favourite part of the DofE and given me a purpose. Not only has it enabled me to build my own skills while supporting others, but it is also really fun and means I’m not just sitting at home. The club has become like my little family.”
Seeing the benefits the Award has brought to his own life, Kyle feels passionate about the club’s own DofE Group, “If it wasn’t for the DofE, I wouldn’t be where I am today so it is amazing that we have our own DofE group for our members. Our disabled members can choose to complete their Expedition section by canoe, which I hope to do myself for my Gold.”
The DofE has been a major part of Kyle’s life and has helped him break out of his shell, “DofE saved my future as I still wouldn’t know what I want to do. It got me out of the house, gave me confidence and developed my life skills. My life has been completely shaped as a result of participating in my DofE.”