Safe outdoor activities help Dorset's vulnerable children in lockdown

Safe outdoor activities help Dorset's vulnerable children in lockdown

Published by George Sharpe at 3:06pm 30th June 2020.

Outdoor activities for hundreds of children and young vulnerable people have kept running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dorset Council has been helping small groups of children and young people at its centres across the county with social distancing in place.

Young vulnerable people and children of key workers have been learning rock climbing, bushcraft, orienteering and caving at Weymouth Outdoor Education centre.

It's to help build youngster's confidence and offer them a way to stay on top of their mental health during the lockdown.


Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Years, said: 

"Being outside in nature is so important for our mental wellbeing.  By offering fun outdoor activities for children and young people, keeping them occupied and learning new skills, we have also been able to provide a bit of respite for families in lockdown.   By keeping the groups nice and small, or often working one-to-one, we have been able to maintain Government guidelines on social distancing.
"The Outdoor Education Centres are also responsible for the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)Awards and I am proud of the young people who are working towards their Award during this crisis.  Some have joined their community volunteer teams, others taken on the mentoring of younger siblings or simply stepped up to help their families cope at home.

They're hoping more children will be able to benefit from the scheme as lockdown restrictions ease.

Andrew Parry said:

"As lockdown measures are gradually eased, we are working to expand the offer from the Dorset Outdoor Education services for more young people to enjoy in the near future and ensure Dofe trips goes ahead as planned."