Growing up, Sophie and her family have always struggled financially, a problem which has been exacerbated throughout the pandemic. When she took an interest in DofE, her mum worried that she would need to save up a lot to pay for it, but Sophie received funding from Cramlington Youth Project to do her DofE, which was a huge weight off their shoulders.
Through her Award Sophie discovered her love for archery, which she chose for her Skills section. Her passion for archery led to her considering training to become an instructor in the future. For now, she wants to continue helping other young people complete their DofE through her apprenticeship at Cramlington Youth Project.
“Because I’ve grown up without lots of money, I’ve learnt to keep and save my Christmas and birthday money so when money became a big problem, I could help my mum with buying food. I noticed in school there was a big difference, everyone had expensive things and I had the same backpack and shoes for years. Everyone else had a new bag each summer and I had mine from Year 7 right up until Year 11.
“I knew that DofE cost a lot of money and my mum was expecting to have to save up loads for it, the Cramlington Voluntary Youth project secured funding to help people in need pay for it which we are incredibly grateful for. It was a big weight off my mum’s shoulders.
“I did cooking for my Skills section, but I was also learning to cook new meals for my family because my brother is a fussy eater, so it is hard to find a meal we all like. So doing cooking not only helped towards my DofE but it encouraged him to try new foods.
“After I completed my Silver Award, I was offered an apprenticeship with Cramlington Youth Project. It’s made me want to go into youth work and help other people do their DofE and give them the same experience.”
“When you have the opportunity to do DofE, go for it.”