Central England News

Local news from the Central England Region

We know that doing a DofE programme can change a young person’s life, but there are also many benefits for our adult volunteers – the amazing people who give up their time to support young people with their DofE. By helping to deliver DofE our adult volunteers gain valuable leadership experience, enhancing their own professional development outside the classroom.

We believe that it is really important to offer our DofE Leaders access to high quality training that will support CPD and give them the confidence and skills to deliver fantastic DofE programmes. This month I am pleased to share with you some examples of volunteers who have benefited from training offered by the newly launched Central England Regional Training Team.

If you would like to find out more about the courses we offer along with the benefits of additional training then please visit  the training pages here. 

Jackie Bull
Central England – Regional Director

 16 Hour First Aid Training

Paul from Wigston College was aware his First Aid certificate was due to expire, and the expedition season was just around the corner. With this in mind, he attended one of the Central England Regional Training Team (CERTT) 16-hour first aid courses. He feels the course has given him confidence and essential knowledge to deal with any injuries competently.

Paul says “The training was extremely useful due to the outdoor aspect and variety of scenarios used during the course. The practical aspects were taught well, and the technical details were made very user friendly. Both experienced and novice first aiders were at ease throughout the course.”.

So far Paul has only needed to treat blisters, a basic but common injury. Paul was able to deal with them appropriately and help the young person back on their feet.

Paul says “The course gives you confidence and the essential knowledge to aid casualties competently. The course has helped in training participants how to deal with incidents and make them more aware of group safety. The outdoor first aid course, in my opinion, is a must have for all expedition leaders or supervisors even if not a requirement. “.

Paul also feels that completing a first aid course and sharing his learning with the students, encourages participants to seek their own qualification as part of their Award.

Lowland Leader Training 

The Lowland Leader Award is a qualification for people who wish to lead groups on day walks in lowland countryside and woodland in summer conditions. This is ideally suited to Bronze and Silver expeditions. The CERTT deliver Lowland Leader Award courses in conjunction with WayAhead Training Ltd.

Annie and a colleague from Soar Valley College recently attended the Lowland Leader course. Annie said, “We found the whole experience extremely informative and enjoyable.”.

The College are currently delivering the Bronze Award and participants are due to take part in their Practice and Qualifying expeditions in the coming months. Annie feels that the course has left her feeling more confident in her abilities; giving her vital experience and knowledge ahead of the expedition season.

Annie concluded “The course is a fantastic experience for anyone involved or thinking of getting involved with the DofE. The course is challenging, enjoyable and informative and if nothing else, a weekend of walking and sharing experiences!”.

 Teaching participants first aid 

Adelaide from Southall School was using an external provider to ensure participants were fully first aid trained for expeditions. Using an external provider was proving to be expensive, so when the Teaching Participants First Aid course became available she was keen to sign up.

Adelaide says, “It is a great course and has given me more confidence, especially knowing I’m teaching the course efficiently.”

Adelaide is due to start training her 2 DofE groups in the coming weeks. The school have expeditions taking place this summer and she feels delivering first aid training to participants close to expedition will ensure it is fresh in their minds.


DofE Expedition Skills Course

Kevin has been volunteering as a Helper at Reepham High School for just over a year and recently attended a DES (DofE Expedition Skills) course. This course is aimed at staff wanting to get involved with the DofE but may not have much experience within the expedition section or may not have gained a walking qualification. Kevin found the course not only enjoyable, but also a great confidence booster.

On the course Kevin was able to share knowledge with other participants, some of which had a lot of experience and some who were only just starting their groups from scratch. Despite a range of knowledge, the instructors taught everyone appropriately and covered a lot of relevant issues. It was also useful for Kevin to get hands on with the equipment as it gave him an insight as to what equipment is available for expeditions. This included tents, rucksacks, cooking stoves and discussions about boots and clothing.

Kevin says “We were instructed in compass use, bearing taking and map reading. We were given the opportunity to use these new skills in varied terrain, from open farmland to enclosed forest areas and that was hugely helpful and beneficial.”

Since the course, Kevin has been out on a practice expedition and was able to plan his own routes and timings more efficiently, as well as work more independently with his DofE groups. This meant he could offer more help to his DofE Manager as well as help instructing one of the other Volunteers.

Kevin had been lacking confidence in his walking abilities, however following the course he feels this is no longer an issue and he is now keen to apply to be a Lowland Leader.

Kevin concludes “The course gets a massive thumbs up from me. If you are new to DofE or just want a refresher on the basic principles, then this course is for you. I found it very informative and the setting provided good facilities.”.

Claydon High School

Graham from Claydon High School attended 3 of the CERTT courses with his staff; together they attended Lowland Leader training, DofE Expedition Skills course and First Aid training.

Graham feels “The courses have helped me develop my leadership and outdoor skills so that I now feel confident to run the DofE programme at the school successfully”

Graham has been using the skills he learned from his DES course, to help with his Lowland Leader Assessment practice walks. He has put into practice 100m pacing, using a compass to select the correct path and procedures for walking safely on a road.

Luckily Graham and his team have not yet needed to use the First Aid training, however he said, “I feel confident if there is an emergency, staff and myself will be able to handle the situation professionally.”.

When asked how he felt about the training he had received Graham said “The courses have been useful in the delivery of the training for students and to help students when planning routes. All the courses have been useful, and I now feel well prepared for our DofE Expeditions. “.

 If you have a good news story you would like to share with the Region, please contact [email protected]  

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