story 8 September 2023

Young Leader Jess wants to be a ‘cheerleader’ for DofE participants

Having already completed her own Bronze Award, Jess signed up to become a DofE Young Leader because she wanted to inspire other people to do their DofE. She also knew it would be a great option for her Silver Volunteering section.

Having recently completed her own Bronze DofE Expedition, Jess applied her learning and experience from doing an expedition fairly recently, to supporting others. She’s planning to help with training around putting up tents, using cooking equipment, map reading and route planning, and first aid. She can see how these types of activities go a long way in helping the group bond as a team, which she knows is essential if they’re going to work together well on the actual expedition.

For her modules, Jess chose ‘supporting an inclusive programme’ and ‘supporting the Expedition section’. The ‘supporting an inclusive programme’ module helped Jess to think about how to make the DofE more accessible, as well as raising awareness of the adaptations that allow all young people to take part. As someone who loved her Expedition section, she was also interested in how to make suitable adjustments to ensure the expedition meets the needs of all young people, regardless of their background or ability.

“I enjoyed my DofE, and so I wanted others to try it. I particularly loved the Expedition section, so I chose to do this module, as well as the ‘Supporting an Inclusive Programme’ module for my Young Leaders course. So far we’ve learnt about how to make the flexibilities of the expedition better known to people, and how to put things in place to ensure it is accessible to everyone.”

“I’m conscious that the DofE Expedition can be quite scary for some people: you’re away from home, you’re doing things you might not be used to doing. I want to make people feel confident going into it. But I’m also going to reassure them that although it seems like you’re going out into the wilderness on your own, the teachers are always around and there to help you. For me, navigation was the biggest worry – I didn’t feel comfortable not knowing where I was. But you learn, and sooner or later you start to trust your own abilities.”

“I’m looking forward to doing more hands-on support with the expedition training, and as I’ve recently completed my own expedition, I’ll be able to share my own learnings and experience. So far the route planning have also helped refresh my skills in map reading, and I’m really looking forward to joining the groups on their actual expeditions which will be taking place in May.”

“I think my main goal with being a Young Leader is just to get more people doing their DofE and being their cheerleader! In addition, for anyone who wants to take their DofE further, I’d also recommend signing up to being a Young Leader. It gives you a chance to be more educated about the DofE, and to help other people. I enjoy being a leader, I feel like I’m a natural at it, and this partly drew me into the course. I like being able to help people, and this programme is helping me to develop my leadership skills.”

“It was really easy booking onto the online Young Leader training – really simple and straight forward. There’s another girl in the school who’s also a Young Leader, so we’ve been able to share our thoughts and ideas for the role.”

Opportunity Finder

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