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DofE Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week was 10th -16th May 2021 and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award made sure it recognised its importance on their social channels. Over the week, they shared stories from participants who felt the DofE had helped them with their mental health battles.

One of this year’s Year 9 Bronze participants at GMS had his post shared on Instagram (@dofeuk) Adam Thorkildsen wrote:

“I have ADHD and am always fidgeting, but DofE has helped me focus better.”

Adam has demonstrated his focus and commitment to the Bronze Award, firstly by volunteering for 3 months helping cubs in the 3rd Marlow Bridge Scouting Group. He set himself some goals for this activity: Adam hoped to ‘get more experience of leadership, learn more from the other leaders and help kids get more out of scouting’. He was a great help to the group’s Akela by delivering online Zoom sessions to cubs during lockdown, teaching cubs how to map read, how to learn the phonetic alphabet, and helping them make lassi as part of Hinduism night.

Adam has also dedicated 6 months to the physical section of the award. He chose rowing and sculling as his activity and his goals are to ‘spend more time doing physical activity outdoors, learn to row as a sport, and take part in competitions. He has chosen IT as his skill, and over 3 months has watched tutorials to learn how to design a website. Adam hoped to ‘learn about general software engineering principles and approaches and build a responsive website’. Adam achieved his goal and build a well presented and functional website, by designing and implementing it and updating it daily.

Having completed the expedition training days, Adam is now ready and prepared for the two upcoming expeditions next month. His instructors have been impressed with his ability to follow instructions and work well as part of a team. I’m sure Adam will thrive on his expeditions and make some wonderful memories.

​​By choosing to participate in the Bronze DofE Award this year, Adam has discovered that by developing and focusing on his abilities and making a contribution to his community, he has benefitted from an improvement in his mental health. I am pleased that Adam has shared his thoughts and hope that other young people follow his example and find an interest which they may mentally benefit from.

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