NEF’s young ‘Energy Envoys’ to educate the nation through DofE volunteering

26th January 2015

The National Energy Foundation has marked its new partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) as an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) by launching a volunteering scheme for young DofE participants across the UK. For the Volunteering section of their DofE programmes, participants can become ‘Energy Envoys’, gaining a better understanding of energy use in the UK and sharing this knowledge with their peers in school and members of their local communities.

DofE participants choosing to become NEF Energy Envoys for their Volunteering section will act as the energy decision-makers of the future and will be an influential force on energy supply and demand in the crucial years to come. The Foundation’s volunteering scheme will specifically educate young participants on the big energy challenges of our time; the overuse of energy leading to excessive costs, fuel poverty and environmental impact.

Last September, the National Energy Foundation launched ten ‘Big Ideas’ - projects to help improve the nation’s energy literacy and spread knowledge and understanding of energy in buildings. The launch followed a nationally representative survey, which threw light on how much the British public really knew about energy. The Foundation is now moving forward with the first of these ideas, creating a nationwide network of young Energy Envoys to educate local communities, and is looking for funding partners to get the project off the ground.

The National Energy Foundation’s scheme aims to:

  • Educate thousands of young people by providing an understanding of how energy is used and how it can be improved at a building level.
  • Engender a passion for energy among participants and provide them with the ability to do something about the issues it creates in people’s lives.
  • Create impact through the rippling of knowledge and ideas between participants, communities and the many people who work with them.
  • Support volunteers through NEF’s Energy Specialists and other staff with advice, programmes of learning, ideas for projects to engage with local communities, tools for delivery and community links.

The National Energy Foundation is looking for ten co-sponsors to provide £10,000 each for each of the first three years, alongside funding already allocated by NEF Trustees. Single year sponsorship might be available, if preferred and individual / personal sponsors will be able to take advantage of Gift Aid.

Kerry Mashford, Chief Executive of the National Energy Foundation, commented:
“I’m truly delighted to begin what I’m confident will be a fruitful and lasting relationship with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). The approach taken by the DofE over its long history harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of young people, channelling this into personal development and valuable contributions to society. By offering a supported volunteering opportunity as an Approved Activity Provider, the National Energy Foundation will inspire large numbers of DofE participants across the UK to learn more about energy and to use this knowledge to benefit their communities. This will be a great achievement.”

Across the UK, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has over 300,000 young people doing their DofE programmes at any one time and the National Energy Foundation’s AAP status is recognition for these young people that the newly launched volunteering scheme meets all the programme and sectional requirements.

Commenting on this new opportunity for DofE participants, Lizzie Usher, Programme and Quality Manager for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said:
“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) welcomes the National Energy Foundation’s (NEF) Energy Envoys scheme as a new volunteering activity for our participants. The principles of NEF’s Energy Envoys – informing, inspiring and motivating young people – align with the benefits gained through achieving a DofE Award. We anticipate that NEF’s scheme will occupy a unique niche alongside the DofE’s other Volunteering Approved Activity Providers – capturing the interest of participants with a passion for energy, its impact and issues, and offering a wealth of experience for those looking to forge a future career in the energy sector.”

Notes for editors


Further information about the DofE (2013 / 14 stats)

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956 by its Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. HRH The Earl of Wessex is a Trustee.
  • Over 300,000 young people are currently taking part in DofE programmes in the UK, at 12,735 DofE centres, supported by 902 partner organisations and around 50,000 adult volunteers from all walks of life. 
  • Last year, 240,796 young people started a DofE programme.
  • 108,288 achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  • In total, over 5.3 million people have participated in DofE programmes in the UK and achieved over 2.3 million Awards since 1956.
  • A survey of major employers, commissioned by the United Learning Trust, found that a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the most highly valued experience when selecting employees.
  • There are over 850,000 young people currently participating globally in over 140 countries and territories.
  • Since 1956, over eight million people have taken part across the world, highlighting how the DofE can truly transcend boundaries of race, language, ethnicity and culture.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a Registered Charity No 1072490 and in Scotland No SC038254 and a Royal Charter Corporation RC000806.
  • Further information can be found at