By: Blonde One

The Two Blondes know very well the benefits of young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We have seen teenagers grow in confidence, learn new skills and enjoy being well and truly outside their comfort zone.

I am very passionate about the value of DofE and will shout it from the nearest rooftop (or even Dartmoor tor) to whoever will listen. After being involved with the Award for many years I might have assumed that I had seen every benefit but recently I was surprised and almost reduced to tears at something new.

One of my Bronze participants (let’s call him John) has recently finished his skill section after learning to cook for 6 months. His assessor was his form tutor at school and he relayed the conversation that he had with John about his skill. Apparently John’s mum had found it a bit tricky to get together the enrolment fee, so John thought that doing cooking for his skill would, in a small way, pay his mum back by helping her in the kitchen and cooking the family dinner a couple of times a week. This, in itself, is a lovely sentiment but there’s more! John began to bake bread as well as cooking dinner and found that he had a bit of a talent for it. He went a step further and began making pizza bases and all kinds of bread from his own recipes. His mum and family were very grateful and have encouraged him to continue despite finishing his skill section already. The icing on the cake (pardon the pun) was when John revealed to his form tutor that this is what he wants to do for a career.

So, the benefits of DofE continue to surprise me!