How Sonal found her independence thanks to her DofE Award
While working towards her Bronze Award, Sonal had to find a unique way to fundraise for her Volunteering section.
“In 2019, I decided to do a fundraiser for my birthday. I’m not a sporty person, so I had to find other ways to fundraise. I knew that donating something might be a better option.
“I’m visually and hearing impaired, and my hair plays an important part of my life. With my visual impairment, I’m unable to see to do my makeup, and with my hearing impairment, I like to use my hair to cover my Cochlear implants or as a form of expression. I’ve done all sorts to my hair, including colouring it copper, red, purple, brown and pink!
“Seeing how important my hair is to me, I decided to brave it and donated fourteen inches to the Little Princess Trust, which is a charity providing real-hair wigs to children with cancer. I wanted to do a selfless act for children who may have a harder life than I do. I know I can’t see or hear well, but I’m grateful I can walk and talk.
“When I sent my hair off to Herefordshire to the Little Princess Trust I didn’t know where Hereford was. And of September that year, I started my life at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. In my family, there’s this joke that I followed my hair to study.
“I started my DofE Award because I wanted the experience of doing everything the Award included. Unfortunately, due to Covid, I couldn’t do the part of the Award I was most excited about; the Expedition.”
Under the temporary Covid flexibilities, Sonal has been able to progress to Silver. Now 22, she is doing charity administration at The Little Princess Trust for her Volunteering section.
“I was very happy the Little Princess Trust allowed me to volunteer at their office. I’ve learnt more than I ever could about hair colours, wig making and, more importantly, how it helps young children with cancer.
“My favourite memories include getting my friends involved with the DoE and volunteering at the Little Princess Trust.
“The Award has improved my independence as I would take the bus by myself to the office. It has also improved my health. Before college, I’d never stepped in a gym, but soon I could see positive changes.”