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D of E Volunteering: It's not just hiking in the hills

Posted by Lucy G.
First Published Apr 2015; updated May 2023.

There's a lot more to the DofE Award than just hiking. There's an element that involves volunteering, but it's not always so easy to find opportunities...

The Different Sections of the DofE

There are three sections to a D of E Award.

  • Volunteering.
  • Physical.
  • Skills.

At the Bronze Award level, you have to do one of the sections for 6 months, and the other two for 3 months.

I chose to do physical for six months, which left three months for both skills and volunteering.

For my Volunteering section, I chose to volunteer at my local cat rescue.

I completed my 3 months of volunteering, and now I volunteer every week as I enjoyed it so much.

D of E Volunteering Ideas

There are many options for volunteering.  You can choose to work in a charity shop, help out at a club, work at any charitable organisation, or help to look after someone or something, such as cooking a weekly meal for an elderly person or litter picking in your local community.

You must volunteer for at least an hour a week throughout the three months.

I actually found it quite hard to find somewhere to volunteer, as a lot places didn't reply to my emails, phone calls, or you had to be over 16. It takes time to find somewhere suitable, but eventually I found the cat rescue.

You have to provide evidence of your volunteering activities, such as pictures, signatures and an assessor report card at the end.

Why volunteering is great

I think volunteering is great as it allows you to help other people, animals, or the environment, all of which deserve and need our help.

Not only does it help others but it allows you to have hands on experience at something you enjoy, or thats new and different.

Doing the DofE is great for your CV, and so is showing your volunteering experience.

I really enjoy volunteering at my local cat rescue, as we got our pet cat from there, so I feel more connected to the charity.

At the cats rescue I do everything from hands on medicating the cats, to socialising, grooming, and cleaning out the litter trays!

I am very found of cats and I have a particular interest in working with animals when I'm older.

From my volunteering I gained a lot more confidence around medicating cats, learning what to do with feral cats and more general knowledge about working at an animal rescue.

I am looking forward to continue volunteering at the cat rescue, as I am too attached to the cats and don't wish to stop after just three months.