Duke of Edinburgh and Wee Sleep Out
In case you missed it… Wee Sleep Out is an Approved Activity Provider for Duke of Edinburgh – one of only two AAP’s in Scotland! What does this mean? Well, it means that Duke of Edinburgh actively encourage young people participating in Wee Sleep Out to complete the volunteering part of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh.
There are a multitude of reasons why young people should take part in Wee Sleep Out, but here are a few reasons as to why it ties in so well with the Duke of Edinburgh award…
Meaningful volunteering creates engaged, inspired activists.
It’s not a secret that volunteering is good for the doer as well as for whichever cause benefits as a result of the altruism. Giving up your own time to benefit someone or something else gives a sense of purpose, a sense of connection and community and can reduce stress while increasing happiness. For young people, it also serves as an opportunity to learn about the world and certain struggles that they may not have been exposed to before. Volunteering can improve self-esteem and self-confidence, both of which are vital qualities in a developing young adult.
That being said, Duke of Edinburgh and the Wee Sleep Out team both agree that being engaged and inspired when volunteering maximises the benefit for the volunteer – and the beneficiary of the volunteering! Whilst descending onto a local charity shop can seem like the obvious path to take when investigating volunteering opportunities, becoming actively engaged in who you’re volunteering for creates a much more meaningful experience.
Taking part in Wee Sleep Out gives young people the opportunity to learn about homelessness and how the current system works, encouraging them to think like social entrepreneurs, all whilst planning and executing a sponsored event within their school or youth group. The structure of Wee Sleep Out (and our suggested breakdown of volunteer hours) ensures that young people stay connected to the issue of homelessness throughout the programme, with a real sense of achievement and ownership at the end of it.
What’s more, Wee Sleep Out also encourages young people to get outside, get out of their beds and out of their comfort zone – which aligns perfectly with the principles of Duke of Edinburgh. More than just receiving a certificate and having something to put on their CV, we believe that if completed to the best of ones ability, the DofE award can truly offer something rewarding to the participant.