The first dedicated DofE summer programme for a group of 15 young people with additional needs took place in July and August 2019 and was a huge success! The project was completely funded by the Deputy Lieutenant of Essex which made the DofE award possible for this group of 13 - 19 year olds.
I strongly believe in the potential of young people and over many years we have supported St John school training, cadets and the Foyers in Essex and Suffolk. On this occasion, we wanted to support The DofE Award at Essex Youth Service as I think the work they carry out is very impressive. Thank you so much for all that you are doing for young people. – Janie Siggers, Deputy Lieutenant, Programme Donor
The young people were referred to Essex Youth Service DofE by social workers, teachers and leaving and after care teams. The group were complete strangers at the start of programme, some had never experienced a night under the stars or what it means to work as a team.
In just two weeks the group of strangers went from expedition novices to achievers of their first walking expedition. Groups completed a two day walking expedition putting to practice their newly acquired expedition skills. They navigated their own way through the Essex countryside carrying all of their equipment, cooked food on Trangia camping stoves and camped out. Through teamwork, grit, tears and laughter, they experienced more than they ever thought they could. Essex Youth Service aims to deliver another funded project in summer 2020.
It was a pleasure to witness the great passion and commitment from young people across Essex, coming together to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
As a group that had only met each other for the first time recently, it was amazing to see how they were functioning as a group in readiness for their expedition. I feel the award is a great opportunity for all young people to take part in, to develop as individuals, showcase their talents and have a great deal of fun. – Cllr Eddie Johnson - Member Harlow South East - Vice Chairman Essex County Council