The Lord Mayor's Appeal's new partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award will help young people to have the opportunity to do their DofE, particularly those who face disadvantage, for whom achieving an Award can be life changing. These include individuals like Megan, who took part in the scheme and has reaped the benefits.
Here's her story:
Megan started her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to challenge herself and through a desire to help the local community. The DofE appealed to Megan as she could try out a wide range of new activities and she had complete control over what activities she could choose to make her DofE personal to her.
Whilst suffering with a knee condition, Megan found her expeditions at Bronze, Silver and Gold level all pushed her not only physically, but mentally, as she was battling negative thoughts in her mind. Megan worried that she wouldn’t be able to complete her Silver Expedition section after having knee surgery just 15 weeks beforehand. However, she was determined to use her desire to achieve her DofE Award to motivate post-operation recovery in order to be mentally and physically prepared for her expedition.
On top of the physical challenges, Megan also experienced low self-confidence and anxiety which made completing her DofE programme seem impossible:
“I had very low self-confidence and was battling anxiety, which really affected my perspectives and outlooks on life and made it more challenging to believe in myself and to be motivated to complete my DofE.”
However, she found strength in the support of others, especially her DofE group and teachers at school, who all believed in and encouraged her.
By pushing herself out of her comfort zone, Megan developed a new sense of confidence and has become much more independent:
“The DofE has changed my life. It made me the person I am today. It gave me the experience and confidence to talk to new people. It made me realise how resilient and strong I am.”