Hundreds of vulnerable children and young people have stayed active and safe outdoors during the Covid 19 lockdown, with the help of Dorset Council services outdoor education service.
Over the past three months, they have hosted small groups in all four county centers working with local schools to organize activities for the children of key workers and vulnerable young people.
Climbing, bushcraft, orienteering and caving lessons took place during the lockdown at Weymouth Outdoor Education Centerhelping to build confidence and develop social skills while maintaining social distancing.
They also had the opportunity to try orienteering, studying ponds, building shelters and safe fire lighting at , Leeson House, which also kept young minds busy with Google Classroom and given families ideas for outdoor activities. You can see their recent work on movies on youtube
the Ancient Technology Center and Carey Outdoor Education Center also kept the kids busy making fairy wands, mini-beast hunts, flower collages and building shelters.
Artz + Sportz+ (a project run by Dorset Council’s Cultural Development Unit) spent half of May at Outdoor Education Centers enjoying arts and sports activities with groups of disabled children and young people .
Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education and early years, said: “Being outside in nature is so important to our mental well-being. By providing fun outdoor activities for children and young people, keeping them busy and learning new skills, we have also been able to provide some respite for families in lockdown. By keeping groups nice and small, or often working individually, we have been able to maintain government guidelines on social distancing.
“Outdoor Education Centers are also responsible for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (DofE) and I am proud of the young people working for their award during this crisis. Some have joined their community volunteer teams, others have taken on the mentorship of younger siblings or simply stepped up to help their families cope at home.
“As the lockdown measures are gradually eased, we are working to expand the Dorset Outdoor Education services on offer so that more young people can benefit from them in the near future and ensure that Dofe trips go as planned.”