The volunteering (service) section is about you finding ways to help people: formally or informally, in a group or on your own. Students should try to organise their own volunteering activity e.g. charity shop work, helping train younger students at their own sports club, helping run a regular play group, visiting elderly care home patients etc. The idea is that your work should benefit someone other than just yourself.
Finding a suitable volunteering activity that ticks all the dofe rules can sometimes be awkward, especially for younger students. Please check with us before you start any activity to make sure that what you are doing is going to be OK.
Some DofE rules… ALL volunteering work…
- must be unpaid
- must be undertaken for 3 or 6 or 12 months, depending on award level.
- must be undertaken regularly over the correct timescale (one hour per week)
- should not be a “job” or work placement for a solely profit-making business like working in a VET or doing paperwork for an accountancy firm or working at a garden centre or working for a commercial sports activity provider
- doing work for a charity or non-profit enterprise is ideal (see below)
A helpful list of examples can be found here (mostly not local but they might give you an idea of what is allowed)… http://www.dofe.info/finder/Default.aspx?ResultsOnPage=20&UserType=2&grp1=42
Some local opportunities:
Helping Scouts: 6th Reigate meet at Shaw’s Corner church, by the war memorial. Volunteers needed to help at Beaver Scouts on Monday evenings between 5:20 and 6:40; running games, helping set up and clear up after activities. Beaver Scouts are aged between 6 and 8 and there are about 18 of them; we have a qualified leader and a couple of other helpers, but two teenagers would be a big help. Previous knowledge or experience of Scouts/Guides at any level would be a help but is by no means essential. Contact: Scout Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org>
Football Club at Parish School: Monday 3.30-4.30pm (obviously you couldn’t go at 3.30pm, but from 3.50pm is OK). with year 6 children. This also means that we are training our football team for interschool competitions. Contact email@example.com
Rainbows, Beavers, Guides, Cubs… very often need helpers. Apply locally.
Sporty? Local clubs often need helpers to run coaching sessions for youngsters.
Here’s another helpful list of ideas from the official dofe website
Volunteering gives you the chance to make a difference to people’s lives and use your skills and experience to help your local community. You can use this opportunity to become involved in a project or with an organisation that you care about.
Helping people: Helping children Helping older people Helping people in need Helping people with special needs Youth work
Community action & raising awareness: Campaigning Cyber safety Council representation Drug & alcohol education Home accident prevention Peer education Personal safety Promotion & PR Road safety
Working with the environment or animals: Animal welfare Environment Rural conservation Preserving waterways Working at an animal rescue centre Litter picking Urban conservation Beach and coastline conservation Zoo/farm/nature reserve work
Helping a charity or community organisation: Administration Being a charity intern Being a volunteer lifeguard Event management Fundraising Mountain rescue Religious education Serving a faith community Supporting a charity Working in a charity shop
Coaching, teaching and leadership: Dance leadership DofE Leadership Group leadership Leading a voluntary organisation group: – Girls’ Venture Corps – Sea Cadets – Air Cadets – Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade – St John Ambulance – Scout Association – Air Training Corps – Army Cadet Force – Boys’ Brigade – CCF – Church Lads’ & Girls’ Brigade – Girlguiding UK – Girls’ Brigade Sports leadership
A SHORT intensive period of activity would NOT COUNT, even if it is a great activity e.g. helping at a kids holiday club or sports club for one week would NOT count for DofE volunteering.
You MUST complete activities over the full 3 or 6 or 12 month time period, showing committed and regular participation.
Helping for one hour per week over 3 months or longer DOES count for DofE.
DO CHECK with dofe staff to make sure your proposed idea is appropriate. The idea is to reach out and help people. This means sacrificing some of your spare time and own convenience for the benefit of others.
You must ask a suitable adult to be your assessor at the outset. Explain to your assessor the importance of setting goals that focus on the charitable nature of your volunteering rather than a “job”.
Your assessor must be suitably qualified to be able to advise you, set suitable goals and monitor your progress. You will ask your assessor to sign up your record book once you have finished the required time. Keep a diary record of dates you attend.
We can direct you to a number of possible volunteering opportunities and have contacts with other groups at various levels:
Bronze: Reigate area conservation: programme contacts here http://www.racv.org.uk/ (counts for 3 months at bronze, students can continue 6 months and 12 months at silver and Gold respectively)
Silver: Eversfield residential home (opposite the school): contact Lisa Daymon at the home.
Gold: Award Leadership scheme: about 20 Gold students are required to help run the DofE scheme at RGS. You will be trained and be expected to run a formal expedition training programme for a new 3rd Year Bronze DofE group. Every L6 dofe student is encouraged to become an award leader to enable the scheme to run at RGS.
East Surrey Hospital want volunteers to run their SHOP. See Mr Collins for details!
Other possible in-school volunteering activities include: library assistants (speak directly to the Librarian: limited numbers); charity fund raising etc.
Here is a link to a useful page on the Surrey Family Grapevine website: it has contacts which may be useful if you are looking for a volunteering placement.. beware, not everything on this list is suitable for dofe volunteering.
More Volunteering ideas for lockdown
Below are loads of ideas of ways you can volunteer from home or remotely. For more inspiration, check out our full list of Volunteering section activities.
– Remotely support elderly people who are in isolation with Kissing It Better
– Help with social media content for YHA
– Take part in a digital personal safety campaign with Resolve It
– Become a volunteering videographer for YHA
– Become an Energy Envoy with the National Energy Foundation
– Become a youth ambassador with Anthony Nolan
– Volunteer online with the British Red Cross missing maps project
– Take part in a John Muir Award and help to conserve nature from home
– If you are a Young Carer, your caring responsibilities can count for your volunteering. The Assessor should be a professional who is supporting you with your caring role, ideally from a Young Carers Project or Social Work/Youth Work departments. Young Carers are also encouraged to contact their nearest Young Carers Project.
– Prepare some sessions for future Beaver, Cub, Rainbow, Brownie or youth group meetings
– Prepare some meal parcels, go shopping or walk the dog of people who have been affected by COVID-19
– Skype talk / FaceTime / WhatsApp call an elderly neighbour to prevent isolation
– Maintain Facebook / Instagram / websites for a local community group or charity