Joanna Craven

I loved achieving my Bronze DofE. My Brother, at this time, achieved his Gold Award and my Mother said she wanted to go with him to St James’ Palace because she didn’t think that I would go further than Bronze. This made me become determined to achieve all three Awards. I was never a big fan of camping, however, the DofE, in my opinion, wasn’t about that. It was about exploring a new and unfamiliar place, learning new skills and sharing the experience with a group of people that I hadn’t spent a lot of time with. Not only did I develop my skills trying out new things but I also developed socially, became more confident and was more willing to have a go and take risks. It enabled me to work as a team to reach a shared goal which is not something that normally happens in later school life when it is focussed on independent study and individual achievements. The highlight was taking my Father to the palace and feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride because I achieved something that someone thought I wouldn’t be able to do. I would like to say a huge thank you to the Duke of Edinburgh for setting up this award and for understanding what young people need now and for the future.