Extending our reach 2018

We’ve continued to extend our reach, working towards our strategic objectives of getting more participants to start and complete their DofE Awards and reaching more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Disadvantaged

Our research tells us that the DofE has a disproportionately positive impact on young people from a disadvantaged background. Our online systems allow us to measure and record this activity more accurately than ever before. Our aim has been to ensure that at least 20% of those starting their DofE are from a defined disadvantaged group.

Our year-on-year progress adjusted now that we have more accurate information, shows that a total of 62,998 disadvantaged young people were supported, accounting for 22.8% of our activity last year.  This is hugely rewarding and we will be reviewing our targets in this area as we begin to invest our Diamond fund (see below), enabling even more disadvantaged young people to access the benefits of taking part in the DofE.

This demonstrates a wonderful improvement in the quality of  support provided by our nationwide, diverse and highly committed network of around 40,000 volunteers, professionals and DofE staff.

Diamond Funding an ‘invaluable blessing’

Money raised during the Diamond Anniversary year of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been described as an ‘invaluable blessing’ by those who are benefiting from it.

Throughout 2016, thousands of supporters around the UK took part in fundraising activities to help more young people transform their lives. Together they raised more than £1.5 million, which was matched by the #iwill fund.

Grants are now being allocated and are already changing young people’s lives across the UK. The funding is being used for a wide range of projects, especially targeting the disadvantaged. It’s this group who most benefit from the programme. Funding has covered:

Bursaries
Expedition equipment
Volunteer training and development
DofE Managers and Leaders have been sharing their appreciation for the funding and the impact it’s having.

Lauren, from Norbury Manor Business Enterprise College for Girls in London enthused, “The Diamond Fund has been the most invaluable blessing to us here at NMBEC. It has meant that we have been able to purchase much needed kit, reducing the cost of the DofE for our girls. It has essentially helped to mean that finance is no barrier to participation.”

In the South West, Roddy from Branston Academy said: “Diamond Funding has enabled us to set up a brand new licensed organisation and equip our stores. We have managed to employ staff to have a push to recruit and enable completion of the DofE specifically for disadvantaged participants.”

Fundraising activities from the DofE Challenge and Adventure to Golf Days continue to bring in vital funds.

Case study: Paignton Community & Sports Academy

“At Paignton Community and Sports Academy, we often work with our most disadvantaged students to give them as much support as possible to help them succeed. Not just in their academic studies, but also in the wider framework of their overall development to become a confident, independent and employable young person. One part of this is encouraging our disadvantaged students to enrol and participate in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).

“The Academy values the DofE, and the opportunities it gives our students, not just while they are taking part in their DofE but also once they have left us and moved on with their education or career.

“Money that we received from the Diamond Fund has enabled one of our students, Alex*, to work towards his DofE Award – something he would otherwise not be able to do. As someone who is passionate about basketball, he is using his Bronze Award to not only develop and hone his own skills but also to support and guide others.

“For his Physical section Alex is developing his own basketball skills and techniques; for his Skill section he is learning to become a basketball referee and for his Volunteering he is supporting younger students in the Academy by assisting with an after-school club. Alex is progressing well with his programme and is looking forward to the upcoming Expedition section.

“All of this has been made possible by the Diamond funding the Academy has received and this will no doubt in the future help more of our disadvantaged students access The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.”

Chris Cook
DofE Manager
Paignton Community & Sports Academy