Helping the next generation – supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
One of the RHCT's main aims is to provide financial support to a number of environmental and educational organisations in the UK with a focus on our young people. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme is an organisation that we are very proud to have been able to work with over the last few years.
Here are some examples of recent projects we have funded:
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme – Wales
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust is delighted that it has been able to support young people in Wales taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Our support over the last few years in Wales has focused on a few areas. We have created a bursary fund to help pay for young people with additional learning needs to take part in their award schemes – in areas where local authorities have sadly stopped their funding. We are very happy to have assisted over 300 young people over the last few years, to take part in the DofE and to support expeditions in special needs schools across Wales. but also to ensure that pupils are equipped with boots, rucksacks, waterproofs and tents.
It was fabulous to receive such great feedback from some of the schools we were able to provide funding for:
'The funding received from DofE will allow us to upgrade our expedition kit, personal equipment (boots, coats) and will help fund some of our disadvantage students, who may not be able to fund their camping costs. The planned spend of new tents & waterproof clothing, will be used by all 15 DofE students at various times throughout the year. It will support the ability of our ASD students to have their own tent space, as sharing can sometimes cause difficulties. Some of our student’s families are unable to pay registration costs and school will pay but the funding will allow us to register all participants without costs to school. Some families are unable to provide good quality waterproof clothing, this funding will allow us to provide suitable coats and boots for use by those who are unable to afford these items.'
Young person’s story:
A young lady who has suffered with mental health issues throughout her teenage years. When she first joined our DofE group, she found it very hard to work as part of a team, unused to sharing thoughts or feelings she found it hard to communicate with her teammates.
Her family found it difficult to purchase suitable wet weather clothing and boots and school were lucky to be donated boots from RCT which enabled us to provide boots for this young lady. Having the same kit as others in the group gave her confidence and her self-esteem began to grow.
Starting her Bronze skills section by working in the school café, covering food hygiene and knife skills, understanding a healthy diet, these supported her to achieve a qualification and she continued with this as her vocational pathway gaining experience and accreditation along the way. This enabled her to apply for and attain a college offer to study in the hospitality sector and she is now beginning her 2nd year.
Her first expedition was the first time she had ever stayed away from home and by the time it came to her Gold residential, in Berlin Germany, where she supported younger students to participate in an exchange visit. This young lady was a confident, caring, supportive mentor for the young pupils.
The DofE experience was invaluable in helping this young woman find her way, her understanding of the need for a ‘team’ her self-esteem confidence and maturity grew alongside her journey. The individual challenges for her and the obstacles she overcame to be firstly part of a team and then an exemplary mentor were met with determination to achieve each level of the DofE award. Hugely proud to be a DofE candidate and an advocate to others to choose to join us.
As she left us to begin her college journey she asked if would be possible to come back as a volunteer as she wanted to continue to help others to enjoy DofE as she had.
''The best thing about school is DofE, I love it, it makes me strong. I don’t want to leave.''
Duke of Edinburgh Wales Leader Training
We have also been able to supply a grant over the last few years to help pay for the training programmes for new and existing volunteer DofE leaders in Wales. Over the last year, even through covid, we are proud to report that we managed to provide funding to train 244 leaders in Wales.
DofE Leader Training during Covid – here is a quote from Ian at DofE Wales:
''Thanks to the RHCT - we have been able to provide free courses for 95 volunteers from 17 different Local Authority areas, Girl Guiding Cymru and St John. It’s been great to be able to continue to support our volunteers in this way – their willingness to adapt to online learning has been really encouraging and we are now delivering our Expedition Supervisors Course on line.’'
Duke of Edinburgh South East
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust is delighted that it has also been able to support young people in the South East taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The Trust has provided bursary funding to enable them to participate in DofE activities to fulfil the requirements of either the Bronze, Silver or Gold levels of the DofE when finances may otherwise have prevented them from doing so. To date over 350 young people have received financial support. Here is some feedback from one young student:
"Our expedition was a great success as we all passed and had an amazing experience at the same time. I would like to thank the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust for my grant, without which I would not have been able to afford to take part in the expedition."
Bursaries of £100 per applicant to enable young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in the Bronze, Silver or Gold awards. RHCT have provided £70,000 over the last few years to support this scheme.