09th October 2023
DofE students share their experiences
L-R Basil, Francine, Veronica & Fleur
Following on from the Visit of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and DofE Executive Director of Operations Rebecca Kennelly MBE to BHASVIC on Wednesday 4th October, we wanted to share some experiences of students who have taken part in the Awards with us. Basil, Fleur, Francine and Veronica helped to show the guests around the college, here are some of their experiences.
Taking the DofE Silver Award at college has taught me how to work with other people, particularly on the expeditions. If someone breaks down, be there for them, if they are angry, put up with them. It’s the team effort that gets the award, not an individual performance. Everyone involved in the programme has been helpful and supportive and it has been a great complement to my academic studies. I’m studying Maths, Physics and Computer Science and the DofE Award has allowed me to develop completely different skills and experiences including Photography, teambuilding and navigation. I’m a DofE Ambassador for the college and enjoy telling new students what DofE is all about and helping them to access the same great experience I’ve had.
I knew I wanted to be active and take part in college beyond just my lessons and revising and DofE was the perfect way to give me a goal and get me doing something different. Even though I have a long commute to college and have a job, fitting in DofE alongside my studies has been easy and enjoyable. As I don’t live near the college, as I didn’t know many people when I joined and DofE has helped me meet lots of people and make lots of new friends.
To be honest I thought I was going to hate the expedition but I really enjoyed it even though mentally and physically it was so tough. Our team work amazingly well together and I was left feeling so proud that we’d all manage to complete it. My best memory of DofE so far was getting to the top of a massive hill on the second day of day of the expedition. Everyone lay down with an ice pack on their head to recover! I’ve also done baking as part of the award and made my family a cake for Christmas Day
I would recommend DofE to everyone because it gives you the opportunity to make new friends and put yourself out there.
The reputation of the DofE Award attracted me to it and I signed up for the Silver Award in my first year at BHASVIC. I wanted to push myself to try something new and get out my comfort zone and it has definitely been a challenge but really rewarding. The expeditions were intense, I didn’t expect so many proper hills and mountains and a few members of the team got a little hangry at times, but we pulled together and managed to get through as a team. I didn’t know many people at college before the award and it helped me meet new people and make new friends. As part of the physical strand of the award I’ve started playing volleyball and have enjoyed joining in with this in my local community whilst the skill strand has allowed me to continue developing my crochet skills. I’m hoping to make a beanie to keep me warm in winter. I’m now a DofE Ambassador for the college and if anyone asked why should I sign up? I’d just say ‘it’s worth it!’
I wanted to sign up to the DofE at school but COVID got in the way so I was pleased to have the opportunity to sign up when starting at BHASVIC. I’m taking the silver award and have really enjoyed it. The expeditions have been challenging but I found that I made a really good team player and was able to motivate people and help everyone work together. We did our practice expedition in the Peak District and I’d never been north of London before so that was an adventure. I was lucky to sign up with lots of friends but also made lots of friends on the trips so would definitely recommend it as a social experience.
For the Skill part of my award I chose songwriting and this has been great as it’s given me focus and motivation to create the songs and stories I want to share. For my volunteering strand I’ve worked a befriender on the dementia ward at a local hospital and have really enjoyed listening to people’s stories, keeping them company and making them laugh.
I come from a single parent household and my Mum is a nursing student so I wouldn’t have been able to access the programme without some financial assistance. The college were really helpful in letting us know what bursaries were available and helping other students like me take part. After college I’m hoping to progress into studying medicine and being part of the DofE has helped me realise my own strengths and weaknesses, made me realise how important teamwork is and that pushing yourself and being resilient can take you a long way