Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people's lives. Getting off your sofa and taking time out to change things for the better can be great fun.
From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there's an endless list of the types of projects you can get involved in, so have a chat with your Leader and other people in your community to find out what’s on offer, what needs doing and who needs help!
If you can't find a project you want to get involved in, why not set up a new one that will help your community? This can be on your own, with a couple of friends or even with your whole DofE group – your Leader can help you do this and may be able to act as your Assessor.
Ben Fogle, TV presenter and Silver Award holder reckons volunteering is a great thing to get involved in:
“Employers and universities recognise the value of having people who have a life away from their job. This is where the DofE comes in, it's now become the leading Award for young people to demonstrate they have interests outside of everyday life. Volunteering gives you a chance to make a difference to others and to their community. I believe that you'll find your voluntary work will increase your confidence and self-esteem and give you new skills. I would advise you all to embrace volunteering opportunities; it's a great way to collect extra experience that could give you the edge at a college, university or job interview.”
In case you're still wondering what you'll get out of the Volunteering section, this is what Sarah has to say about it:
"For my volunteering I spent a year helping children with special needs. Doing my DofE gave me even more back than the hours and effort I put in."
Read about how Bronze DofE participant Sam White volunteered to help his community during the floods in Old Windsor in February 2014.
What do you need to do next?
- Find out what you need to do in detail, including the process and timescales, on our volunteering requirements page
- Check out the ideas in each of the volunteering categories of activity using the links on the right (remember - you need to get your Leader to agree your choice and make sure it fits our requirements for the Volunteering section)
- Download a handy Volunteering section programme planner on the right
- Download a list of volunteering ideas on the right
- Develop a plan for a programme which is specific and relevant to you
- Once you've got your activity, Assessor and goals sorted, set up your plan in eDofE, get your Leader to approve them - and you're good to go!
Good luck and have fun!
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