Today’s young people are dedicated, inspired and ambitious. You’ve risen to the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, playing your part in your communities and helping those who need your support.

But we know the pandemic has hit some young people’s mental health and wellbeing hard. It’s put your education, social lives and work on hold and, for some, led to increased stress, worry and loneliness.

As a new school year starts, the DofE can give you the chance to develop skills and characteristics that can help you navigate our new world.

Your DofE can help you build the confidence and resilience you need to get through this crisis, and help you stand out, open doors and thrive in the future.

Our animations tell the real-life stories of four DofE Award holders, in their own words. Hear how, through their DofE, they overcame personal challenges, found focus and motivation and achieved things they never thought they would.

"The DofE gave me space for myself."

Catherine explains how her DofE activities let her step back, escape and deal with her emotions after her mum was rediagnosed with cancer – and gave her memories to cherish, with and without her mum. 

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“My DofE showed me it’s who you are on the inside that counts.”

After being bullied because of poverty and her race, Lira tells how her DofE transformed her confidence and showed her what she was capable of – helping her reach goals she’d thought were impossible.

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“It gave me a purpose, something to put my time and energy into.”

As a teenager, George struggled to control his anger. His Volunteering section helped him learn self-control, organisation and perseverance – and now he helps a younger generation do their DofE.

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“Every bit of encouragement built me up.”

When Lucy started her DofE, she was too shy to speak to anyone. Getting to know her DofE group helped her relax and open up. Though she still has bouts of anxiety, she’s now a DofE Ambassador – and has even given speeches.

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– Find out more about doing your DofE – or speak to the DofE Manager or Leader at your school, college or youth organisation to see how you can sign up.

– If you’re a young person struggling with your mental health, visit YoungMinds for help and advice.

– If your DofE has helped you throughout the pandemic, share your story with us on social media using #DofE.