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Our amazing volunteers

Over 50,000 adults give their free time to help support young people through their DofE programme and we can't thank them enough. 
Hear what some of them have to say...

Amir Sadeh

“I achieved my Gold Award and I loved it so much I became an Expedition Supervisor and DofE Ambassador.  It opened my eyes to young people who might not have had the opportunity to do such great things if it weren't for their DofE programmes.”

Amir Sadeh
DofE Supervisor

Emma Siddle

“I did my Bronze and Silver DofE programmes at school and it gave me lots of confidence as I was originally really shy.  I also participated in fundraising money for charity, which I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t got involved in the DofE.  It was another qualification that was recognised.”

Emma Siddle
DofE Leader

 

Nathan Jones

“I did my DofE at school and it increased my confidence because I knew I was learning new skills and gaining new achievements and focus.  I became an Expedition Supervisor for four years; it gave me a sense of direction. Volunteering for the DofE gives you new opportunities and a higher level of empathy for others.”

Nathan Jones
DofE Leader
 

Lesley Hedley

“The DofE has given me the opportunity to give young students with various disabilities the chance to experience and take part in all sorts of physically challenging activities.  I have learnt a lot about how the DofE – in all areas – can be adapted to anyone.  My group thoroughly enjoys the team aspect and are fab to work with.”

Lesley Hedley
DofE Leader
 

Rob Fenlon

“For me it’s about giving them the opportunity to help others and enrich their own lives.  Receiving mail from our placements praising our participants regarding their conduct, professionalism, and all round positive attitudes, makes you very proud to be a part of their growth and a part of something that will stay with them for a lifetime.”

Rob Fenlon
DofE Leader
 

David Stretton
“I became interested in the DofE when I could see the benefit of what it had for the lads, working within the prison.  My role involves being there for them when they need me, offering advice and motivating them, because it’s not an easy trip.  All the hard work I put in is worth it, ten times over.  I love watching them progress into focused, motivated young men.”

David Stretton
Physical Education Officer, Reading Prison
Nolene Tear

“I love to see the participants experiencing new things and the enjoyment they get out of it.  The DofE programmes allow everyone to join in and don’t exclude anyone.”

Nolene Tear
DofE Leader
 

Chris Watkinson

“Volunteering for the DofE helps you see the kids in a different light and them see you in a different light too.  It has also really helped to strengthen relationships with them because I get to interact with students that I wouldn’t normally teach and I wouldn’t usually get to know very well.”

Chris Watkinson
DofE Leader
 

Fran

“It’s great to see young people enthusiastic about their potential expeditions, it makes me enthusiastic about supporting them and ensuring that the DofE ethos is instilled and upheld.”

Fran
DofE Assessor
 

Julie Balchin

“The experience has been challenging but doing it has opened up other unusual experiences to me like the opportunity to travel, doing more charity work and meeting lots of different types of people.  It’s good to see the participants put in situations that they’d never have otherwise been involved in like the expedition and community service – it makes them realise how lucky they are.”

Julie Balchin
DofE Leader
 

Denise Bedford

“A lot of my group members have behavioural and learning difficulties.  No one expects them to achieve anything, so they and their families don’t expect it either.  Seeing them on a platform receiving a badge and certificate is so moving, and they’re so proud and excited.”

Denise Bedford
DofE Leader
 

Jean

“So often, I am witness to the great effort with which some young people overcome their difficulties.  It keeps me in touch with the young, whilst hopefully demonstrating to them that us oldies can walk alongside them and appreciate each other.”

Jean
Expedition Assessor

Noel Forrest

“I enjoy the challenge of bringing them through their DofE programmes, it’s bigger than anything they’ve ever done.  You go on a journey together, it’s so rewarding when they come back and say “I wouldn’t be able do have done what I’ve done without the DofE”.  It’s enlightening.”

Noel Forrest
DofE worker for New Start.  Outdoor Education Manager, London Borough Newham
Elaine Clarke

“I’ve been involved in education a long time and I find the DofE incredibly rewarding.  I see it as a way that everybody can succeed.  I love volunteering, it takes up quite a bit of time but what you put in you certainly get out of it.  
It’s brilliant”

Elaine Clarke
DofE Leader

Katie James

"It’s going to change your life so much"

Katie James
DofE Leader