Volunteering is simple. It’s about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment or animals.

Your volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Where your volunteering is in support of surplus generating work, for example a charity shop, then some Local Authorities may require a work permit. The charity you are volunteering with should be aware of this and support you as required.

For your volunteering activity you need to choose to give time to do something useful without getting paid (apart from expenses).

You can also volunteer in a team, which might be an easier way to find an activity if you can identify a local need you can help with.

Go to the DofE website for ideas

Or have a look at the following list: Volunteering

Here are some of the great things students have been doing over the past year: 

Write a letter - Writing letters to children with disabilities

Adopt a Grandparent - Writing letters to the elderly can brighten their day

Kissing it Better  - Writing letters to the elderly

Litter picking - Dacorum - Environmental support for your community

Litter picking - Three rivers  - Environmental support for your community

Wood Oaks Farm - Maple Cross - Animal care

Nathan's Farm - Animal care

Colne Valley Regional Park - Nature and environment

Mission EmplyAble - Chorleywood common - Local café

Sailing for people with disabilities 

Riding for the Disabled

Missing Maps - help the red cross using satellite images of war torn countries get humanitarian aid where it is needed by finding the names of the streets. Possible age restrictions apply 16+

ZooUniverse - Online nature volunteer tasks from, counting penguins, to looking for animals in the jungle.

Community Shops and Cafe's - Sarratt stores is just one example who take on local students to do their volunteering. Other local ones are The Glebe Café, Ashley Green and slightly further afield a local shop and café at Wigginton.

Helping at sports clubs where all the people running it are volunteers is a great way to help your local community with something you love doing and maybe have great skills at. Make sure there is an adult who can sign you off, and that you do not do this alone. Make sure if you are 16+ you have completed DBS checks with your organisation if required.

Helping at Brownies, Rainbows, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and other uniformed organisations is all acceptable even if you do not attend, they do accept young people for the duration of their DofE. If you are an Explorer, Young Leader or Senior section then you can keep attending even after your time is up for DofE. Make sure the unit leader is aware you wish to do this for your DofE and they will happily sign you off. 

If you are going to help younger students at dance clubs, sport clubs etc you must make sure that they are not relying on your being there for numbers so no extra paying guests are taken on by your presence, you should be enhancing the experience the students are having and you should not be paid for your work. You can claim milage and expenses if appropriate.

Park Run Volunteer - lots of opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering for your local Park Run - they often have a waiting list for volunteers though so be prepared.

In terms of an assessor, if you haven't got one by default of the activity you are doing start with your form tutor or any teacher in school who maybe has an area of interest. Speak to them first about what you plan to do, keep a log of the 1 hour per week you do.

Remember 3 months = 13 hours, 6 months = 26 hours, 12 months = 52 hours and 18 months = 78 hours