When Baljodh signed up for his DofE he wanted to learn new skills and challenge himself but found the awards gave him so much more, becoming the first step to a wealth of opportunities and helping him forge an unexpected link with his culture and country of birth. When he moved to the UK 10 years ago from India Baljodh admits that, being shy and unable to speak English, he initially struggled to make friends and settle but DofE helped build his confidence and find his place in a new community while also staying connected to his heritage.
Beth’s DofE journey has given her a second chance and the opportunity to prove to herself just how much she can achieve. She regrets that she ‘missed out’ in school because she felt that she wasn’t capable of the DofE having suffered depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts since the age of 13 which left her struggling with life, school and, most significantly, her confidence.
Speaking to people and becoming more active helped her overcome her challenges so, when she saw the DofE Gold award advertised at Sandwell College, where she is studying health and social care, she signed up immediately, determined to make the most of the experience.
Emmy has Bardet Biedl syndrome, a genetic condition that affects her vision. Her sight has gradually deteriorated since she was diagnosed at six and she currently has night blindness, colour blindness and no peripheral vision. However, Emmy loves a challenge so, when the opportunity came up to take on the DofE Bronze award, she jumped at the chance.