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John is 24 and was a residential student at Derwen College.  John has two types of epilepsy and developmental delay. He does not always know when a seizure will occur. This has resulted in John having low self-esteem, social difficulties and a lack of confidence in himself. Due to his condition he cannot participate in every-day life activities unless he is supervised.

John on his DofE expedition

Despite his disabilities, John says he has not been held back. Now three awards in; Bronze, Silver and Gold all completed, John and his family could not wait to attend the DofE presentation ceremony where he received his Gold award.

John’s parents say ‘The experience of participating in group activities out in the community, planning and executing tasks and pushing the boundaries of his abilities, strengthened his confidence and helped him enormously in building his character.’

‘We are hugely proud of him, and extremely grateful to Derwen College and the DoE award scheme for this opportunity for our son. Allowing him to have the independence that other young adults without his difficulties can experience and in that, improve his self-esteem. We have always felt that for John achieving the DoE awards was an equivalent to our younger son achieving his University degree, and we are equally proud of John.’

John says ‘DofE has allowed me to meet new people, have fun working together, see different scenery on expeditions and attempt new skills – like making a bug zapper! I found carrying a huge rucksack difficult, it slows you down, but I learnt to persevere. DofE will give me more opportunities for the future.’


John and his fellow DofE