Enthusiastic D of E participants are welcome to volunteer at Elmbridge Community Eco Hub and have the hours accredited to their award
The Eco Hub is delighted to be able to support young people aged 14-24, on their Duke of Edinburgh journey.
For people under the age of 16 we would recommend litter picking. This is a relatively easy task, can be done at any time and essentially anywhere.
People aged 16-17 can volunteer at the Hub with prior written consent from a parent or guardian. Volunteering opportunities may include: working in the community garden, greeting visitors and helping them access the community fridge, the refill section, the book/jigsaw or boardgame sweep.
People aged 18 and over do not need consent from an adult to be on site. At this age you will be able to learn how to use power tools, hand tools, helping out with general maintenance of the building and garden, in addition to the ideas suggested previously.
There are a few simple rules though.
1) ALWAYS arrange a visit to the Eco Hub to meet with our staff before undertaking any volunteering. If you are under 18 please bring an adult with you. It is VITAL that we meet with you in person to discuss your options and ensure you are happy to volunteer with us.
2) Stay committed. We will be asked by DofE central to write a report on your volunteering. It is in your best interests to turn up on time as arranged. If you cannot make a session please let us know. It’s no problem, but we just need to know.
3) Stay safe. Never do anything you are not comfortable with. If you don’t want to litter pick, just say so. If you are not comfortable with power tools, say so. We have many different options, and will always be able to find something for you to do.
4) Always have your mobile phone on you and charged up. You may need to make a call home when out and about volunteering.
5) Communicate regularly with us. If we do not have evidence of your volunteering, it makes it very difficult for us to report it.
6) If you chose to volunteer with us remember that you are acting as an advocate for the Eco Hub. As such always be welcoming and polite if anyone asks what you are doing, or why.
7) Tell others about your volunteering. Take lots of photos and share them on our social media channels. This will help to encourage other young people to participate in D of E and also acts as evidence of your time with us.
It will usually take you at least 6 months to complete your Bronze programme.
– Volunteering section: 3 months
– Physical section: 3 months
– Skills section: 3 months
– Expedition section: 2 days/1 night
You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections. It’s your choice which one and, though you can change your mind later, you should decide which section you want to do for longer at the beginning. Knowing how long you’re going to do it for will help you to choose your activity and set your goals for each section.
It will take you at least 6 months for Silver if you’ve already achieved your Bronze, or 12 months if you’ve jumped straight into Silver.
– Volunteering section: 6 months
– Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
– Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights
If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.
For Gold, you’ll need to do your programme for at least 12 months if you’ve achieved your Silver Award, or 18 months if you’ve started at Gold level without doing your Silver – even if you’ve done Bronze. The big difference at Gold is you’ll also do a Residential section – staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don’t know.
– Volunteering section: 12 months
– Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
– Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
– Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.
If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.
For further information please email us on: DofE@elmbridgeecohub.org.uk
Focus on Volunteers
Grace has recently completed her DofE bronze volunteering with the Eco Hub choosing litter picking as her volunteering role. She and her family worked hard to keep the street they live on clean and tidy. Grace contacted her neighbours and encouraged them to help too. She is a great example of what we expect from a DofE volunteer.