Stuck in a rut: Britain wants to get out of its comfort zone in 2016

• Fewer than 1 in 5 Brits (just 17%) managed to challenge themselves significantly in 2015
• Whilst 75% of us believe it’s important to set personal challenges and be adventurous, most of us didn’t manage it in 2015
• The nation wants to be challenged more in 2016 with a majority of 56% wanting to learn something new next year, rising to 73% of young people (aged 18-24)
• Almost half (48%) of us want more adventure in life, rising to 60% of young people (aged 18-24)
• Men were most likely to say they want to be more adventurous in 2016 (but only just)

Only 17% of people managed to challenge themselves in 2015 according to research released by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) to mark the charity’s 60th Anniversary.

Three quarters of us (75%) believe setting personal challenges is important and 43% want to be more adventurous, but less than 1 in 5 managed it last year.

Young people were the most adventurous group in 2015; nearly a third (32%) of 18-24 year olds who participated in the survey said they felt they had challenged themselves a lot, compared to just 13% of retired people.

Most of us want 2016 to involve more challenge and adventure with a majority of 56% saying they would like to learn a new skill in 2016, rising to 73% of 18-24 year olds.

The DofE is helping people set and achieve goals next year through their Diamond Anniversary Challenge that will see people of all ages across the UK seeking more adventure.

Thousands of people have already signed up to take part, choosing challenges from three categories: adventure, personal, and skill. From conquering a fear of heights to learning to knit, Britain is getting out of its comfort zone.

Celebrity challengers include impressionist Jon Culshaw; BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Yasmin Evans; comedian Bill Bailey; and survival and bushcraft expert Ray Mears.

The DofE’s CEO Peter Westgarth explains:  “At 60 years young the DofE has never been more relevant for young people in the UK. Over the years we’ve helped millions of youngsters to transform their lives through their DofE experience and gain essential work and life skills.

As a charity, we now want to fundraise for the future so we can continue to reach out to more young people. We’re asking people across the country to support us.

Being able to push yourself past boundaries and overcome challenges is an essential part of personal development – inspiring new confidence, skills and knowledge. That’s what the DofE Award is all about and that’s what the Diamond Challenge is all about too. We hope to give people the support and structure they need to fulfil their goals and really challenge themselves in 2016.”

This sentiment is echoed by DofE supporter and survival expert Ray Mears, who says: “I’ve been setting myself challenges throughout my life, from camping under the stars in the North Downs when I was a kid to exploring the Canadian wilderness earlier this year. My challenges have shaped who I am today.”

The DofE’s ambition is to enable two million more young people to start their DofE by 2020, with 400,000 from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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