story 16 May 2024

Breaking Boundaries: Chloe’s journey with the DofE and mental health

Growing up, Chloe spent time living in care and struggled with her mental health. When she first started her DofE, she found it difficult to interact with new people but, despite these challenges, Chloe used her DofE as a way to focus on the positives and keep moving forwards.

Her DofE became a source of stability and routine when everything else felt uncertain. She was even recognised as a special mention for This is Youth 2023: Boundary Breaker of the Year!

Read her story.

“I first found out about DofE through my parents, and I’m very grateful to them for helping me to get into it and supporting me throughout. At first I was quite unsociable and found communicating with new people very difficult, but I saw DofE as a perfect opportunity to put myself out there.

While I was doing my DofE my mental health deteriorated, I felt unmotivated and there were times when I couldn’t get out of bed. Sometimes I didn’t want to complete my DofE at all, but it was just a state of mind, I persevered and was able to complete all the sections despite what was going on, and although it was extremely tough to keep going it was 100% worth it. I had so many people supporting and encouraging me during this time that my DofE became something to take my mind off the things that were happening in my life. Now it’s one of the things that I am most proud of; it taught me that hard work pays off in the end.

“When I first found out that I had been nominated for special mention for This is Youth 2023’s Boundary Breaker, I was in complete shock. If you asked me two years ago where I thought I’d be with DofE right now, I would never have said this. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has supported me, particularly my parents and my DofE Leader, Mr Cross, without whom I wouldn’t have gotten to this point in my Award.

“My DofE taught me to step outside of my comfort zone and I’ve benefitted in so many ways because of this Award.”

Read more inspiring stories from This is Youth 2023.

Opportunity Finder

This link opens an external site. All content is not affiliated with DofE. Please click proceed if you understand these risks.