Blog 21.04.20

How to: Volunteer for family members

Young man helping younger male sibling with schoolwork

Usually, volunteering for your DofE should be done for a charity, people you’re not related to or a not-for-profit organisation. Before the lockdown, it’s likely your volunteering activity met these criteria.

However, we know it might be hard for some of you to keep doing your previous volunteering now everyone needs to stay at home. So, volunteering for family members will now be allowed to count for the Volunteering section of your programme.

This can be used if you’re just starting your Volunteering section, or if you need to change activities because your previous volunteering activity is no longer possible.

How can I volunteer?

To get the most from your DofE programme, your volunteering should be more than babysitting your siblings, or helping your parents or carers with your usual chores!  

You want to be able to show that you developed leadership skills, took responsibility for your actions and learnt something new – just as you would with all the other parts of your DofE programme. 

Your Leader can help you with some suggestions to structure your activity, but some ideas could be: 

– mentoring a younger sibling, helping with their homework each week in a subject you really enjoy. 

– coaching a sibling or other family member to learn an instrument or develop another skill 

– organising an arts and crafts session or a sports session in your garden, for someone you live with to participate in (this might be age dependent!) 

Use activity logs to help record and evidence what you do – and here are a few websites for helping to plan the kinds of activities suggested above: 

Twinkl 

Schools-out.org 

BBC Bitesize 

If you have another family member who requires help that you think you could use for your volunteering, that should also be fine – although make sure it’s approved by your DofE Leader first. 

Remember, if you are a Young Carer, then your caring responsibilities can still be used for the Volunteering section. 

How do I change activity?

If you are changing activities within your section, you can do this easily on your DofE app or on eDofE – and remember, the time spent on your previous activity still counts. So, if your Volunteering section is six months, and you had already been volunteering for four months, you will just need to do the new activity for two months.

As with all DofE activities, to maintain the value and integrity of your Award, your Assessor cannot be a family member. However, you can find some useful information on finding an Assessor for your volunteering here.