Over the last two months, everyone’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Like many organisations, here at DofE we have had to adapt rapidly, changing how we work and how we support our incredible DofE network to enable young people to continue to benefit from the structure, positive focus and sense of purpose that a DofE programme provides.
In response to this crisis we outlined three new priorities for the DofE charity:
1. To protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and stakeholders.
2. To support our Licensed Organisations and young people to continue their DofE journey from home.
3. To protect the charity financially during these challenging times so we can continue to benefit young people, now, and in the future.
We created the DofE With A Difference hub to help Leaders, young people and parents find the latest information, advice, ideas and inspiration for continuing their DofE at home. We also introduced a number of temporary programme changes to make it easier for young people to keep doing their DofE, and we’ve been celebrating the compassion and creativity of young people during the lockdown through regular stories and social posts.
To protect the DofE financially we immediately froze recruitment and non-essential expenditure and furloughed a small number of staff. Since the outbreak we’ve already seen our income – which is largely made up of licence fees, participation place fees and charitable donations – drop and we expect this to continue throughout the course of this year. Consequently, this month we have taken the difficult decision to furlough a number of staff across the charity.
These are difficult decisions to make and I do not make them lightly. But they will allow us to protect jobs and safeguard the charity’s future so we can be there for young people both now and on the other side of this crisis.
I would like to reassure you that whilst our staff numbers will be temporarily reduced, the DofE remains very much open for business. We will be maintaining our support to all our Licensed Organisations and our staff remain on hand to help young people start and complete their DofE journey and support LOs as we all navigate the next few months.
We’re confident that through careful stewardship we will weather this storm so that, together, we can keep giving young people the chance to develop themselves and achieve amazing things. Thank you, for everything you do for young people – by running DofE or donating to our charity, you make this all possible and we are hugely grateful for your continued support.