Julie Wood

Many years ago, I enrolled for Bronze DofE with my school. However, without any proper support, or guidance, I never actually got off the ground to do anything.
Life has moved on and when I started working at a school in 2000, I had the opportunity to help with the admin of DofE within school. I took up the challenge, became coordinator and now the Manager of DofE at The Warriner School. This was a way to payback and get involved in DofE in later life!
We have over 300 students working on all three levels at school and although I am not a walking leader, I love to be a part of the expedition where I see a different side to the students.
It never ceases to amaze me what the young people achieve whilst doing their award - continuing to stretch themselves and learn valuable life skills.
I feel that with the role of the manager, I can help and support the young people to achieve an award that may feel out of reach to them, but with particular help and guidance, they feel that wonderful sense of achievement, when they have completed it.
Over the last year, it has been extremely difficult for everyone, but for those young people who have engaged with the award, I know that this has helped them get through lockdown.
I feel a sense of achievement too, when the students complete the award, whether at Bronze, Silver or Gold.
The icing on the cake was when I was invited to Buckingham Palace, with our Headteacher in June 2017 and actually met the Duke of Edinburgh - it was one of his last public events and a day that I will always remember.
The Duke of Edinburgh was one amazing man and someone who we should all aspire too - setting up this award so many years ago, was a wonderful thing to do for the young people and hopefully it will continue for many years to come.