DofE in Lockdown

May 22, 2020

Since lockdown DofE activities at Beaumont College have come into their own. We deliver DofE from Lancaster, Barrow and Carlisle campuses. The DofE Award has 4 Sections and currently we have students both on Bronze level and Gold level. It also has a residential Section at Gold.
Because the students have not been able to participate in their planned expeditions for Gold I really focused in to encourage them to work on keeping going with their other Sections. Some students are in college and some are at home and I have been able to work with them and adapt their activity goals to be continued at home. I have created information sheets to inform parents of the outline of the individual activities students are participating in. I have communicated with support staff around how the activities can be adapted for home situations.

Currently we have students working on some of the following: –

Volunteering – we have students tidying their gardens at home to improve the environment, baking cakes for local residents unable to leave their homes, caring for others needs in their residential home, e.g cooking meals and taking out rubbish.

Physical – students have been walking, cycling and dancing their way to keeping fit.

Skill – students have been worked on their cooking skills, IT and document designs, developing their acting and directing skills and developing their communications skills.

Harry is based at our Carlisle Campus but is remaining at home for the current time. I have been speaking with him and his mum weekly to explain and support his activities. Initially Harry would not leave his home due to anxiety around the virus. He is now walking to his allotment most days and enjoying the exercise as part of his Physical Section. Harry is growing produce at his allotment to donate to others in local care homes. This is towards his Volunteering Section. Mum reports that Harry is much less anxious and very determined and motivated to complete his DofE Sections.

On Tuesday we arranged a group session online so our Gold DofE group could meet with each other. They had been so excited to be on this journey together. Their residential adventure trip in February had brought them closer together as a team. What came out at the meeting was how they missed each other and would like to meet again to not feel so lonely. One of our students has returned home to the Cayman Islands for the time being and even he got up at 5.30 am to join his group.

DofE activities have been flexible to adapt to the circumstances of lock down and has given our students and their families fresh motivation and structured activities, taking them towards an acknowledged Award. They are determined to complete their Section time requirements for which they will get a Certificate of Achievement unto we can get back out for Expeditions.

Rachel Diss
Occupational Therapist
DofE Manager
Beaumont College

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