DofE Makes a Difference
Pupils give up their time to change lives at home and abroad.
Kind-hearted Kimbolton pupils have raised over £2000 to help support families in Tanzania through the charity Rise Africa UK. Fourth Formers Oli and Charlie raised the money as part of the volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh award (DofE) – having been inspired to act after hearing a talk about the charity on School Speech Day. The twins raised the funds through their 'Right Royal Bash' event, to celebrate the marriage of Harry & Megan. Other DofE pupils have also supported the charity through its annual Art4Africa exhibition and various fundraising activities.
Volunteering is one of four challenges in the youth awards programme, which has three levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold) and requires participants to complete Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition sections, as well as a Residential at Gold. There are currently nearly 200 pupils from our Third to Sixth Forms enrolled on the scheme, who have each committed to a minimum of 3 months (Bronze), 6 months (Silver) or 12 months (Gold) voluntary work, averaging at least 1 hour a week.
In total, this equates to more than 3,000 hours of volunteering – giving pupils the chance to make a real difference to people’s lives. Some, like Charlie and Oli, take the opportunity to become involved in a local charity or organisation close to their heart. Others choose coaching, teaching and leadership roles, for example at sports clubs, Parkrun and Junior Parkrun, Brownies, Cubs, or the School’s own Kim Club.
Environmental projects are also popular: current projects include supporting parish councils through litter picking, assisting at Paxton Pits nature reserve, and working as an ‘energy envoy’ – helping people in the local area to use energy wisely. Others enjoy working with animals at Wood Green, volunteering in community shops, hospitals and libraries, or helping elderly people and those with special needs.
Rise Africa UK founder Ms Olivia Faulkner is immensely grateful for Oli and Charlie’s support, as well as that of other DofE pupils. She said: “Thanks to their efforts we were able to build goat houses and provide goats to eight poor families in Tanzania, just in time for Christmas. We bought good quality animals, so the families can earn a steady income from the sale of the milk. It has made such a big difference to these families, to the parents, guardians and children.”
Mr Tony Lucas, Kimbolton’s DofE Manager, added: “Of all the sections in DofE, it is volunteering which offers the widest opportunity for individual development and the chance to learn transferable skills for school, the workplace and beyond. It gives pupils experience of life beyond the classroom and goes a long way to producing a well-rounded young person. I’m delighted that we can offer DofE to all of our Third to Sixth Form pupils – and that such a high percentage of them take up the challenge.”