Meet Olivia – A volunteer completing her Duke of Edinburgh Award with Over The Wall…

As a Residential Approved Activity Provider for the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award, Over The Wall offers young people the opportunity to complete their Gold Award through volunteering, residential experiences at camp.

Over The Wall is also one of the very few providers that offers this experience for free.

Volunteer, Olivia Eguiguren Wray recently took a break from her role as a student of medicine at The University of Exeter, to volunteer at South Siblings Over The Wall camp. Her camp experience fulfilled the residential section of the Gold Award of her DofE.

“I came across Over The Wall on the Duke of Edinburgh website and it immediately appealed to me.” explains Olivia, “Volunteering at an Over The Wall camp not only sounded like an amazing opportunity to help children with serious health challenges- but it also sounded like a week of fun, and I was right!”

“The experience was incredible- it was like nothing else. I was blown away that somewhere like camp existed, that a place had been created to allow children with illness & their families to have fun.”

As a Team Mate, Olivia supported and encouraged the campers, building relationships with them and with her team whilst encouraging, inspiring and empowering the campers as they completed a whole host of activities.

“I want to come back to camp as a volunteer as soon as I can- I have already been looking at dates in the summer. It was incredible to witness the children who started off shy, gradually come out of their shell. The transformation you see at camp is unreal and the increase in happiness and confidence is astounding. As a volunteer you really see the power and magic of camp first hand.”

The benefits of volunteering

“I went to camp expecting to simply help others but I actually got more than that. Camp had a huge impact on me- I even cried at the end! I felt like I could just be myself that week- everyone was so kind, it was a very emotive experience, which I wasn’t expecting at all. It’s lovely to be a part of a bigger community, to learn things about yourself, and be with people who have similar interests, whilst helping children living with illness to have a life changing experience.”

“Also- as another bonus- Over The Wall is a completely free experience. If you are looking to gain the residential part of your Gold Award, many providers charge you. The fact that this was free was even more amazing. In fact I actually saved money whilst at Over The Wall- as I didn’t spend money on anything whatsoever all week- including food!”

“I feel gutted that I didn’t know about camp before – I’ve had three summers since turning 18 that I feel like I have wasted.”

“I could have been at camp all of those times!”

If you are looking for a new challenge in 2020 and would like to try something completely different from your day-to-day life, consider volunteering for Over The Wall. Our camps are life-changing – for children and volunteers alike.