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10 Questions with Frida - Student Volunteering Week

The 20-26th February is Student Volunteering Week, so we've asked Friday 10 questions about what she's doing to give back to her community. Frida is doing her DofE through Edinburgh Napier Students' Association.

Frida at University

1. What’s your DofE Level?
My DofE level is Gold.

2. What’s your University Programme?
I am studying Digital Media (Global) which is based at the Merchiston Campus of Edinburgh Napier University. It is a creative computing course, focusing on creating all kinds of digital content.

3. What’s your volunteer position?
I volunteer as a student representative for Digital Media first year.

4. What types of things do you do when you volunteer?
Being a student or a programme representative, means that you help be the voice from the students. When there is a problem within the course or the class, people come to me and I listen and do my best to improve the situation. As a programme representative I am constantly aware of what is going on, meaning I listen to the concerns of my classmates.

5. Why did you pick this organisation to volunteer for?
I picked to volunteer within the university as I was used to be part of a marketing team in my high school. Working in a changing environment where I can see the impact of my actions and I am also able to improve the student experience of current and future students. It is also a good way to learn how to communicate with other people, both students and teachers. Improving my communication and leadership skills, is something I desire to do with volunteering.

6. How many hours a week do you volunteer?
There is no set time limit for the volunteering that I do as it is a constant process. Some weeks the workload is bigger as students come with suggestions and remarks about how something could be changed or there are some planned school meetings I have to participate in. I am always alert when sitting in class and when something is not right, I get to work and do my part. Bear in mind that all hours are not very intense, rather being aware of what goes on around me. So the active hours I spend on doing my volunteering varies from week to week.

7. Did you volunteer before starting DofE?
As I have mentioned before, I volunteered at my high school so doing it again, seemed only natural and something that I wanted to take part in.

8. What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Being able to see the change, and being able to make the change happen. It is nice to know that you being there and being a voice will have an affect. It is also fun being part of the school and meeting other students who are doing the same thing as me.

9. What are your plans for the future?
I plan to finish my degree at Edinburgh Napier University. Enjoy my time at university and hopefully be able to study one year abroad. After finishing, I plan to travel some more and then hopefully find a job in a digital field which I have yet to decide.

10. How does doing your DofE volunteering help you with your plans for the future?
Volunteering at the university will help me gain leadership skills, be able to help and guide people when problems arise. It will hopefully also help me with my communication skills. Being able communicate well is something that any industry requires.

If you'd like to become a DofE participant through your university or college, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


Crerar Hotels Trust grant awarded to support young Glaswegians

Crerar Hotels Trust LogoThe Crerar Hotels Trust recently announced that it has awarded a grant of £10,000 to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Charity.

The DofE will use the funding to support young people in Glasgow to participate in the life changing programme. Glasgow has made great strides in recent years to increase the number of local young people taking part. The Trust’s grant will support this work, enabling more young Glaswegians than ever before, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to develop their skills for life and work.

Paddy Crerar, Chairman, of The Crerar Hotels Trust and Chief Executive of Crerar Hotels commented: “We are delighted to have made this award to the DofE and look forward to hearing how this funding helps impact their work in Glasgow. Crerar Hotels is committed to giving back to the local community to help it grow and thrive, and provide opportunities that may otherwise seem out of reach. For every stay our customers have with us they are supporting others, who really need it. It is great for our folk in the hotels to see their hard work and efforts helping people in their own communities as well as those from throughout the whole of Scotland.”

Barry Fisher, Director, of DofE Scotland said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this generous grant from The Crerar Hotels Trust. We aim to ensure that every young person who wants to do their DofE Award has the opportunity to do so. This grant will help us to make that a reality in Glasgow, where many young people have a lot to gain from doing their DofE.”

There are currently over 20,000 young people taking part in a DofE programme across Scotland through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions and youth groups.

To find out more about the DofE and how it enables young people to succeed, please visit www.DofE.org 


For further information contact: 

Jamie Mitchell (DofE Scotland)  0131 343 0920  [email protected]
Sarah Firth (Crerar Hotels)  0131 561 1214  [email protected]  

Notes to editors

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – figures correct as of 2015-16 stats

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is the world’s leading youth achievement award that develops over 20,000 young people for life and work every year in Scotland.  Founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, the DofE is currently being delivered in Scotland in 947 DofE centres, supported by 79 partner organisations and approximately 5,000 adult volunteers from all walks of life.

The DofE is supported by Scottish employers including RBS, ScottishPower, Scottish Rugby, Diageo and ASDA who endorse the skills and attributes developed whilst doing a DofE programme such as resilience, commitment, self-motivation and team working.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a Registered Charity No 1072490 and in Scotland No SC038254 and a Royal Charter Corporation RC000806

For more information about the DofE go to www.DofE.org.

Crerar Hotels

The Crerar Hotel Group (CHG) was formed in 2005 with Paddy Crerar as Chief Executive, having previously developed a chain of 32 hotels and successfully led a group sale in 2005, at the peak of the hotel market. In addition to Crerar Hotels the group also operates Crerar Management, a consultancy that specialises in hotel asset recovery and www.easybreaks.com a UK based hotel room sales agent marketing more than 400 independent and chain hotels.

What makes CHG different?

Crerar Hotels is privately owned by the Crerar family and the charitable trust is Chaired by Paddy Crerar – that trust is tasked with gifting up to half of the company’s distributable profits annually to good causes that have links to where Crerar hotels have hotels or interests. The Trust has donated over £7 million in the past 16 years.



Kemnay Academy – Bronze Success

Eight Kemnay Academy students in Aberdeenshire have achieved their Bronze Awards. The school, which has recently reintroduced the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award into the school programme, held a presentation during 5/6 year assembly to acknowledge the success of those who had taken part.

Kenmay Bronze Award Holders

DofE Scotland Centre Support Officer, Jim Wood, who has been working with the school over the last three months said: "it was great to see the efforts and determination of these young people acknowledged in front of the rest of the school, and for them to receive their DofE Awards. Credit must go to the school for the support it has shown them and I know from the look on their faces, the satisfaction they all had at reaching the end of this part of their DofE journey and achieving their Bronze Award. Well done”.

Andy Miller, Aberdeenshire Life Manager said: “the support work the DofE Team have been doing with Kemnay Academy over the past year has re-established DofE in the school. As we move forward with new volunteers coming on stream, more opportunities will be provided to develop young people for life and work. We commend the first group of Bronze Award completions and look forward to supporting them through their Silver Award”.


Granite city glitters for awards night

On the 7th February, Aberdeen City Council hosted its DofE Award night. A fantastic turnout celebrated the 130 young people from 12 DofE centres who were awarded DofE certificates of all levels. A number of pupils spoke about the experiences with DofE and in particular, the DofE Leadership programme.

Aberdeen Award holders

Calvin Amalraj from Harlaw Academy, was awarded the Inspiration Award, as was Margaret Cooper. Calvin couldn’t make it on the night, but the excerpt below from his submission explains why he is an inspiration to his peers.

“…During his S6 year Calvin was unfortunate enough to pick up a very serious illness. This led to him being hospitalised for a number of weeks and having to face a gruelling period of rehabilitation. The timing of this meant that he was unable to finish his chosen courses in school.

Calvin remained positive throughout the whole time and was determined to make a full recovery, including coming back to school the following year to complete his studies, which he did successfully. Calvin has also been working hard towards his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, something that again he was determined to achieve…”

Isabelle McTamney and Margaret Cooper

The night also saw Isabelle McTamney of Harlaw Academy awarded Young Volunteer of the Year and Charis Bowie of Cults Academy took home Adult Volunteer of the Year.

Charis Bowie with Volunteer Award

Amber Scott (Kincorth Academy) won first prize for her expedition photo of the year, with Lucy Esslemont (Kincorth Academy) and Igor Prato Luna (Cults Academy) coming in second and third place respectively.

If you’d like to learn more about the DofE in Aberdeen City, you get in touch with DofE Manager Mark Pain at [email protected].


For more stories please visit our news archive.