Every year, the DofE helps thousands of 14 to 24-year-olds to thrive., supporting their positive mental health and wellbeing. New research, produced with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), evidences how, and demonstrates that doing DofE:

– Builds resilience, confidence and supports general wellbeing

– Encourages connection with new people, physical fitness and skills development

– Provides opportunities to step out of comfort zones.

“Before I did DofE, I felt anxious a lot of the time. I believe in myself more now” – DofE participant.

The ability for young people to bounce back and give themselves the best opportunities in life is more important than ever.

In the report, find out how the DofE impacts…

...general wellbeing

72% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that doing the DofE is fun and enjoyable.

75% agreed or strongly agreed that the DofE has given them the opportunity to face new challenges.

78% agreed or strongly agreed that it enhanced their CV or UCAS application.

Male and female school pupils in uniform walking and laughin

...confidence and resilience

62% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the DofE made them more confident in overcoming difficult situations.

61% agreed or strongly agreed that they have become more independent as a result of doing the DofE.

70% agreed or strongly agreed that it has made them proud of what they can achieve.

Young man playing ping pong in blue jumper

...communication and teamwork

45% of respondents who were taking part in community action (Volunteering section) said this activity teaches problem solving.

47% of respondents commented that the expedition taught them how to take responsibility for others.

44% reported that the residential made them more confident about speaking to people they don’t know very well.

Group of young people on expedition laughing

DofE sections and wellbeing

The DofE is made up of five sections: Volunteering, SkillsPhysicalExpedition and Residential (Gold only). 

We explored how these, and the different activities within them, can be associated with wellbeing. 

Volunteering

Purple volunteering icon 64% of those who coached, taught or led other people regarded ‘responsibility’ as an important outcome.

Purple volunteering icon 56% of respondents said volunteering as part of their DofE made them feel more responsible.

Purple volunteering icon 50% said their DofE volunteering made them more confident and 52% reported that it gave them confidence to speak to people they do not know well.

Purple volunteering icon 45% of respondents who were taking part in community action and raising awareness for their volunteering noted learning how to work with others to solve problems as an important effect of the activity.

Purple volunteering icon 44% of respondents who worked with the environment or animals felt that being able to do something they believe in and learning a new skill were important outcomes of their volunteering.

Skills

Purple Skills icon Respondents indicated that activities in Science and Technology (41%), Music (39%), Performance Arts (38%) and Creative Arts (38%) are particularly good for realising potential and building self-esteem*.

Purple Skills icon 32% commented that this section allowed them to work on something they believe in and 30% felt it has made them more confident.

Purple Skills icon 46% of respondents said the Skills section has given them the opportunity to learn a new skill. 62% of Media and Communication participants, 61% of Science and Technology participants, and 56% of the Natural World participants rated this as a strong effect.

Purple Skills icon 49% of Performance Arts participants said it has made them more confident.

Purple Skills icon 40% of respondents who learnt a Science and Technology skill felt it taught them how to overcome challenges.

Purple Skills icon 48% of respondents who learnt a skill in the Natural World noted that it made them feel more responsible.

*These figures are based on respondents who took part in those activities and felt they were able to work on something they believed in. 

Physical

Purple volunteering icon 63% of respondents said doing the Physical section has made them fitter and healthier.

Purple volunteering icon 33% commented it has made them more confident, with 42% of dance participants, 41% of martial arts participants and 38% of extreme sports participants saying it has helped to build confidence.

Purple volunteering icon 41% of respondents doing martial arts and 40% of those doing racquet sports rated being able to learn a new skill as an important effect of these activities.

Purple volunteering icon Dance was the activity most associated with enabling DofE participants to work on something they believe in (34%).

Purple volunteering icon 22% of respondents taking part in team sports said it made them feel more responsible for others.

Expedition

Purple expedition icon 51% of respondents said the expedition taught them to overcome challenges.

Purple expedition icon 50% reported that they have a better understanding of how to work with other people to solve problems.

Purple expedition icon 47% commented that they learnt how to take responsibility for others in their group.

Purple expedition icon 47% said the expedition made them physically fitter and healthier.

Residential

Purple residential icon 36% commented that it taught them how to work together with others to solve problems.

Purple residential icon 39% of respondents said the DofE residential made them more confident.

Purple residential icon 44% reported they are now more confident about speaking to new people.

Purple residential icon 34% said the DofE residential helped them learn how to overcome challenges.

View the mental health and wellbeing report

 

– Watch our animations of Award holders sharing their mental health journey. 

– Find out how you or your child can sign up to do the DofE  

– If you’d like to run the DofE in your organisation, find out how. 

Donate to the DofE to make a difference to more young people’s lives. 

– Visit YoungMinds for help and advice on dealing with mental health challenges.