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Weʼre raising £6,000 to help Ilsley DofE! Can you help?

For the past 12 years, we have had the pleasure and privilege of changing the lives of hundreds of pupils through the Duke of Edinburgh award. Watching the transformation and development of pupils as they challenged themselves and embarked on a life-changing journey has been truly heartwarming. We, as the DofE team, have been extremely happy and honoured to have had the opportunity to volunteer and watch the pupils change their lives for the better and create some amazing memories. However, we now desperately need your help!

This year, we have had more than double the usual number of applicants who want to enrol on DofE and we do not want to turn any pupil down! We are absolutely delighted by the increase in numbers because we know the impact the award has on their lives but we are limited in terms of our resources. Each student on DofE needs a tent, cooking stove, rucksack, sleeping bag and roll mat. We only have enough equipment to cater for half the current applicants but we promised all our pupils that we will do everything we can to support every single one of them on this journey.

On top of this, the setting of our school means that many of our students are from low income backgrounds. For our disadvantaged young people, completing the DofE Award can be a game-changer, providing invaluable development and a recognised achievement that levels the playing field and unlocks education and job opportunities. However, their journey to complete the award is steeper and harder than most. Deprivation hinders every aspect of their award, providing them with economic, emotional and social challenges and thus making their chances of completing the award extremely low. We try our best to support these pupils to pay for the cost of the expedition, buy suitable clothing and to plan, buy and pack food as well as providing them with the emotional support to complete the programme as we understand our disadvantaged students are the ones who benefit the most.

It has been a very difficult year but with your help, we will change more lives this year than ever before! We believe any and every pupil should have the opportunity to complete the DofE award without worrying about money, equipment or support. Your donation will help make this dream a reality. We will be extremely grateful for anything you can donate and we thank you so much for everything you do to support our young people and for continuing to be there for them when they need us most.