Former RAF instructor leads the way for NHS Trust

Health development coordinator Steve Muggridge with Magda Charlton,  DofE operations officer - East
Health development coordinator Steve Muggridge with Magda Charlton, DofE operations officer - East
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A former RAF instructor is to run The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for an NHS Trust in the first project of its type in the country

The East London Foundation NHS Trust (ELFT) will use the DofE to support clients using its Bedfordshire mental health and wellbeing services.

Health development co-ordinator Steve Muggridge, 31, has driven the project and is keen to see the first group of young people aged 16 to 24 start their programmes to achieve the awards.

The licence is for Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Wellbeing Services but Steve, who spent six years in the RAF as a PE instructor, also hopes to see it rolled out with the trust in London.

He said: “I am really excited about this project. We see the DofE as a fantastic opportunity to really help service users in the community. It helps build confidence, improve physical fitness, sets a routine and provides clear goals. All of these can only benefit young people looking to regain a sense of structure and hopefully further their education or find work.”

Steve will complete his expedition leader training in the coming weeks.

He added: “We believe that by providing both mental health and physical health support that our service users can really progress. The DofE will also be open to anybody, we won’t exclude anyone.”

Training will be provided to service users in the community but he also plans to promote the DofE with inpatients as part of their recovery plan when they go home.

The six-month programme finishes with a two-day expedition, which will be led by Steve. He is the trust’s registered DofE Leader and he is now looking for volunteers to help support the programme. Email steve.muggridge@elft.nhs.uk if you would like to get involved.