Remembering the work of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
In memory of HRH Prince Philip, residents of Telford and Wrekin reflect on their experiences of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, known as DofE.
Founded in 1956, the DofE award has touched the lives of young people across the globe including pupils from Southall School in Telford.
In tribute, some of the Telford and Wrekin recipients have shared how the programme has given them new found confidence, a sense of purpose and friendships to treasure.
Southall School in Telford is a centre for the DofE Award where the activities are managed by Rob Davies.
Passionate about what the scheme can help young people to achieve, Rob commented: “The DofE is one of the lasting memories that a young person has about their college education.”
Whether improving fitness, learning to cook, or challenging themselves through public speaking events, Rob sees students flourish when taking part in the awards scheme.
He said: “Watching young people succeed is always a brilliant thing. Delivering the DofE has opened my eyes to the potential and talents that our learners have. It is a way of sharing strengths and learning from each other.”
“The DofE has really helped me to keep on track.”
Graduate of Southall School, Ben Adam Beekes stepped up to the challenge to give him a greater focus on his school work, fitness and to help him avoid exclusion.
Ben said: “Without the support and success of my DofE, I don’t think I would be where I am now.
“Fitness, navigation skills and having mates has given me more self-esteem and belief in what I can do. The DofE has really helped me to keep on track and stay focused.”
“I feel I’m improving all the time.”
Ben Szydlowski is a student at Southall School in Telford, who was inspired to join the DofE programme after hearing about his friends’ experiences.
Taking part in DofE has challenged Ben when speaking to new people, learning to manage his stammer and improve his communication skills.
Ben said: “I enjoy all aspects of the award and I feel I’m improving all the time. I am better organised and am showing more independence and doing things for myself.”
Being in a group has enabled Ben to meet new people and make new friends. He has also excelled in developing new skills from cooking to animating demonstration videos.
With future aspirations to become a hospital porter, Ben’s new found confidence is helping him to take steps towards achieving his ambition.
As a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual's potential, the DofE programme celebrates the achievements of young people aged 14 to 24 through personal and social development.
Participants choose their own unique activities focused around health and wellbeing, learning new skills and giving back to their local community at three levels – bronze, silver and gold.
To find out more about the DofE Award scheme, please visit this website.