DofE Programme - The Volunteers

We all know how important volunteers are to the smooth running of the DofE programme.  Here at St Thomas Aquinas we have been successfully running the programme for 22 years. We have had an amazing number of 40 volunteers that have been running our programme, juggling multiple responsibilities and demonstrating great teamwork to ensure the programme is supported.
The Bronze DofE programme at STACs was set up by Mr Houston and Mrs Bell in 1995 with 35 students.  This proved to be such a success that the Silver award was introduced in 1997, providing more opportunities for the young people.  This then lead to the Gold award being introduced in 2005 by Mr Baker and Mr Flood, who continue to support the award.
· Looking at our volunteers we have 6 of them receiving long service awards equating to a total service time of 74 years between them, with total years’ service of all volunteers in excess of 200 years of service to the DofE programme 2017.
· In 2005 we enrolled our 1000th participate and only a handful shy of enrolling number 2000!!
· There have been over 110 expeditions in this time, in excess of 4,400 hours of activity and 12,000 km of paths navigated.
· In 2016 some of our volunteers undertook the Diamond Challenge. This involved 7 staff setting out in the middle of the night to climb up the Malvern Hills to have bacon sarnies whilst watching the sunrise over Herefordshire.

This kind of support ensures the centre has excellent results which has ensured that the enrolment figures have continued to rise from the start of the programme in 1995 from 35 to a record number of 80 student enrolments in 2016/17. In 2016 St Thomas had a record number of 101 completions making us first in the central region.
This simply would not happen without the help and support from staff who give up their time to make it possible.
The photo just shows a fraction of the amazing volunteers here at St Thomas Aquinas school.

Mrs Todd
DofE Co-Ordinator

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