Blog 17 March 2021

Connecting young people throughout the pandemic

Dawn, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Co-Ordinator from South Gloucestershire Council, is the lead on a group of Silver Award participants, helping them to achieve their full potential through a range of activities that count towards their DofE, including a climbing course for their Physical section. The eager group were about to move on to their Skills section when the world as we know it changed as a result of COVID-19.

Headshot of Dawn

Dawn thought carefully about the group, who have additional needs and vulnerabilities, and knew they would benefit from group work development to achieve their DofE Award.

Once lockdown hit, she went digital, offering phone support for participants, as well as coordinating regular Zoom sessions centred around the different sections.?These online sessions feature a diverse array of topics, activities and interests, including route planning, one pot cooking, map skills and art work, to name just a few!

Young woman icing a cupcake in kitchen

Thanks to the fantastic initiative of Dawn and other colleagues, the participants have remained connected with one another and the continued support is helping the group achieve their skills from home. One young person has been getting creative through artwork, with another one undertaking weekly cooking, and pictures are shared through a closed Facebook group.

Dawn comments:

“I never thought we could carry on, especially with the type of group we had to facilitate, but through the commitment?and passion of the youth work staff they can be supported to achieve their sections and benefit greatly from being connected to others.”

The pandemic has been challenging for us all, particularly young people and huge appreciation is due to the people who’ve continued to help them achieve and aspire during lockdown.

Take a look at DofE With A Difference for ideas and advice on how you can support young people to keep doing their DofE during the coronavirus outbreak.

We believe in achievement for all – and we’re determined that young people shouldn’t miss out on doing their DofE at this time. So, we’ve introduced The DofE Certificate of Achievement – to recognise participants who’ve completed their Physical, Skills and Volunteering sections, but can’t do their expedition right now – as well as temporary expedition changes to help young people do their expedition when it’s safe to do so.

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