To celebrate #iWill week, we have a very special DofE story from Inverness High School. #iWill is a campaign that aims to make social action part of life for young people and Inverness High School is going a long way to doing just that through the DofE Award.
Many of the school’s 10 DofE participants are directly addressing and dealing with issues in the community and wider world as part of their DofE volunteering and skills activities. They are supported in their efforts by RoWAN (Ross-shire Waste Action Network).
They have been collecting damaged or unusable/unsellable food and taking it to a local community centre to prepare into meals which are then served to the homeless and those affected by poverty, or drug and alcohol abuse.
The school’s participants are directly involved in emailing and using social media to spread the word of the food programme. They also take videos of the work they are doing and upload these to YouTube to be shared with others who are looking for ideas of ways to help in their own community.
Another project sees the participants taking surplus materials, provided by charities, to sew together and make gloves. They have been learning sewing skills as part of their DofE and also using the internet to search for organisations sending items to refugee camps worldwide. They then organise for the gloves to be sent to the organisations who give them to refugees in need.
Finally, the group have also been out in the community doing litter picks and encouraging members of the public to help manage their waste and look after their own local area.
These participants are clearly dedicated to giving back to their community in as many ways as they can. They are a great credit to the ethos of the DofE programme, and to the #iWill campaign.
Over the summer, pupils from Queen Margaret Academy Supported Learning Centre got the opportunity to take part in their Silver DofE thanks to funds from Awards for All Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund.
The Council took a unique approach to the expedition, inviting along parents and carers to the training days to allow them to get information first hand from the instructors about what was going to be involved for their young people. It was also a chance for them to meet socially and share in the broader DofE experience with their young people.
The participants have said they found the whole experience “challenging but very rewarding” and many parents and carers agreed, with one saying “I definitely would recommend the DofE to other people, as this had a big impact [on my son]”.
The success with the group has been tremendous, with all on track to complete their Awards. As a result of taking part, one of the participants even secured a work experience with a local outdoor education provider.
The project was run in partnership with DofE South Ayrshire Association, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and South Ayrshire Council.
If you want to learn more about how DofE can support young people with additional support needs, please visit the Additional Needs section of our website.
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