Duke of Edinburgh Award Candidates

Thank you for considering undertaking your volunteering section of the D of E award with us.

We are a local charity with a high demand for our services to help to the people in a time of personal crisis, and are open six days a week to do this vital work. Most of the people who come to volunteer are adults who give up a half day or more every week, but we do have a limited capacity for local community groups such as Scouts or Guides, and D of E candidate to help with the varied tasks in our Donations Centre in Wokingham.

We are currently ‘at capacity’ for our D of E spaces, but will be hosting an information sharing  event for students hoping to volunteer at any point during the coming academic year (September 2024-August 2025) Please read on for additional instructions as to how to enquire and be invited to this event. It will be on a Saturday afternoon at the beginning of the Autumn (Michaelmas) term.

  • If you are under the age of sixteen, you will have to attend with a chaperone. This can be a parent, sibling over the age of eighteen or a trusted family friend, who has to be responsible for your wellbeing whilst you are in the building volunteering, and stays on site throughout the session. This is because most of our volunteers are not DBS checked as they do not come into contact with people who are either children or Vulnerable Adults whilst volunteering for us. This means they cannot be responsible for the emotional or physical wellbeing of other people’s children on our behalf. One adult can supervise two D of E candidates.
  • We try to offer most parts of the week if this fits with your school /college timetabling, but cannot offer Fridays at this time, and we are closed on Sundays. Most students come on Saturdays for sessions either 10am-1pm or 1pm -4pm, and there are four student places on each. Two students can ‘share’ an adult if they are friends with each other. We are  also able to accommodate students who are  local to Molly Millars Lane for an hour 4-5pm Monday to Thursday, but again they will need  a chaperone if under 16.
  • If you are interested, please fill out the form at this link on our website http://www.thecowshed.org/volunteering/ and note in the box labelled ‘special skills’ that you are a D of E candidate and which level you are working towards please and at when during the year you would hope to be doing your volunteering. We have spaces from September right through to the summer, typically aligned to term dates
  • Could you make sure that you use an email address you can access from home so you can read and reply to our response promptly.  You will get a response within a week, usually less, and will be asked for the name and contact details of your chaperoning adult. We will contact them to ensure they understand what they need to do to help you complete this service component. The details for our DofE info event will be in this email, and you have to reply promptly confirming that you can attend as demand is likely to be high. We will not ‘hold a place’ for anyone who does not respond to the detailed information, either for the event, or to complete their ‘service component’ of the award.