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How The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is having a positive impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing

There has never been a more important time to talk about young people’s mental health. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), one of our charity partners, has launched a series of animations that focus on the positive impact doing the DofE has on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

26 Aug 2020

The charity has worked with four of its Gold Award holders to create animated videos to depict their journeys, voiced by the young people themselves.

The videos explore the personal challenges the young people were facing, what they learnt about themselves while doing their DofE and the ways in which this benefitted their wellbeing and helped them in the future:

“The DofE gave me my own space to find out who I was.”

Catherine explains how her DofE activities let her step back, escape and deal with her emotions after her mum was rediagnosed with cancer – and gave her memories to cherish, with and without her mum.

“My DofE showed me it’s who you are on the inside that counts.”

After being bullied because of poverty and her race, Lira tells how her DofE transformed her confidence and showed her what she was capable of – helping her reach goals she’d thought were impossible.

“It gave me a purpose, something to put my time and energy into.”

As a teenager, George struggled to control his anger. His Volunteering section helped him learn self-control, organisation and perseverance – and now he helps a younger generation do their DofE.

“Every bit of encouragement built me up.”

When Lucy started her DofE, she was too shy to speak to anyone. Getting to know her DofE group helped her relax and open up. Though she still has bouts of anxiety, she’s now a DofE Wales Ambassador – and has even given speeches.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit young people particularly hard – affecting their studies, relationships, work, opportunities and mental health – and disadvantaged young people have been disproportionately affected.

The DofE is keen to show how opportunities like the DofE, which is non-competitive and open to all young people, can play an important role in helping this generation recover and thrive, developing the skills and character traits – like confidence, resilience and adaptability – to help them navigate and succeed in our ‘new normal’.

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