story 08.04.20

Read how Jessica changed activities to start volunteering remotely

Before the coronavirus pandemic started, Jessica volunteered for Splatter Dance – specialists in creative, curriculum and topic-focused dance lessons for children. With school closures across the country, shes unable to continue doing this for her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme, but still eager to volunteer and support a worthy cause. 

Jessica’s research into other charities with youth connection led her to Ecobricksan alliance that focuses on creating a greener community by encouraging volunteers to make reusable building blocks from plastic waste. As well as providing a source of materials for developing countries, they can be used to create eco-friendly playgrounds and Jessica likes the idea that children can be involved in this movement, helping to build playgrounds that they may use in the future. 

Inspired by what she saw, she has started a group campaign at the university she attends and is encouraging fellow students to join her in making Ecobricks, with an added offer to personally deliver the collection to a local drop off point, once it is safe to do so. 

Jessica Booth with water bottle

“Now, more than ever, is a great time to start. We are helping to reduce the strain on key workers who are managing our waste and avoiding the spread of coronavirus that, research suggests, may survive on plastic.” 

“Ecobricking is also a great way to recycle and reuse materials to help wider communities, they can be made using soft plastics that you come across in your home, for example, crisp packets, plastic wrapping from vegetables and toilet roll. It is a really good way to work towards helping others, which is a positive feeling.” 

Two plastic bottle with wrappers in

Her advice to other DofE participants looking for a remote volunteering opportunity is to look for something manageable that can be done from home, “everything, however small, will make a difference.” Jessica will be using photographs as her DofE assessment evidence. 

Remember that even if you want to change activities like Jessica, the hours spent on your previous activity will still count for your Award. To find out more see the #DofEWithADifference participant FAQs.