Blog 16 December 2019

DofE year in review

2018/19 may have been the DofE’s 63rd year, but we couldn’t be further from retirement.

In fact, it was a record-breaking year for us. More young people than ever did their DofE – a huge 461,563 participants, from all over the UK, with more than a fifth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.

See below for how the DofE is a great choice for young people who want to get involved with something big that’s got a great reputation, and which can give them skills for work and life to help them stand out from the crowd.

Group of students in classroom in school uniform talking

The year in numbers

– In 2018/19, 153,284 young people achieved their DofE Awards, up 7.2% on the previous year – and there was a 13% increase in Awards achieved by young people who face marginalised.

– Around 40,000 Leaders and volunteers supported all those young people to do extraordinary things, in more than 3,500 organisations across the UK – schools, colleges, universities, youth groups, young offender institutes, Girlguiding and Scout groups and many more.

– 68,774 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds started their DofE (up 9% on the previous year).

– DofE participants doing their Volunteering section gave more than £13m worth of their personal time to make a difference in their communities.

The difference the DofE makes*

– DofE Award holders and alumni say the DofE helped them build skills, including problem-solving (65%), leadership (70%) and communication (76%), and 61% say they’re physically fitter than when they started.

– 57% of participants told us doing the DofE has had a positive impact on their confidence and self-esteem.

– Two thirds of Award holders and alumni have continued volunteering after achieving their Awards.

– 70% of education professionals who run the DofE say it’s improved their job satisfaction.

– 74% of Award holders and alumni say the DofE has a had a positive impact on their life.

Nobody can sum up the impact of doing the DofE better than our participants. In the words of Gold Award holder Jeremy: “The DofE has taught me that even if people say I can’t do something, with hard work I can achieve anything.”

What’s next?

Heading into 2020, the DofE’s mission remains the same – to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements.

Young people design their own DofE programmes. They can choose which activities they want to push themselves to improve or which cause they want to volunteer for, and do what they love – whether it’s football, cooking or photography, coding, yoga or fighting climate change.

That flexibility means any young person who’s up for the challenge and determined enough can achieve their Award — including those who might not always get the chance to take part in extra-curricular activities.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to DofE participants and their families, our Award holders and alumni, our supporters and all our amazing DofE Managers, Leaders and volunteers – and wish you all a very happy 2020.

*Statistics are from the DofE’s impact survey of 14,555 Award holders and alumni and 623 DofE Leaders and Managers in 2017; and of 2,205 young people and 286 DofE Leaders working in teaching in 2018.

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