Reflecting on the DofE: Stability, hope and positivity
For Suzie, a Silver DofE participant, the coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on her day-to-day life but activities such as the DofE have helped provide a level of stability and hope, whilst boosting her positivity.
“COVID-19 has taken away things that usually provide a sense of routine and fun, like school and our prom. It’s all been so different to get used to. Having activities like the DofE that I can carry on doing and provide consistency has helped. It means I have something to look forward to and spend time doing regardless of what happens with the pandemic and school, such as sewing scrubs for the NHS for my DofE volunteering activity.”
Before the pandemic, Suzie had been fundraising in her community for her Volunteering section by bag packing in shops and doing other activities. When lockdown prevented her from carrying on with these, she took advantage of temporary DofE With a Difference programme changes and switched to sewing scrubs. Between her and her mother, they’ve made 18 sets of scrubs so far, which have been donated to the NHS!
On her return to school, Suzie found it daunting balancing the pressures of school and homework around everything else but she’s made a concerted effort to maintain her DofE activities and has just received her Silver DofE Certificate of Achievement having completed her Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections. “I still make time to do my DofE activities. The DofE is good as it’s split up into different sections and then the activities can be broken up into small chunks of times. I’ll soon move on to doing my Gold DofE, which is great and will give me a new focus away from school.”
Suzie is keen to see more enrichment opportunities available for young people: “I think there should be more opportunities for personal development in education, it would be great to see more fun things available to do. From doing extracurricular activities I’ve gained confidence in myself and my skills, and others should have that opportunity too.”
Considering how much impact the DofE is having on her, she encourages other young people to consider doing their DofE. “Go for it, it’s fun and you can choose activities that you’ll enjoy. You’ll come away from it smiling, laughing and with good memories.”