Hopwood Hall College students with learning difficulties learn Skills for Life

Date published: 29 November 2017

Students from Hopwood Hall College spent three days in a Lake District camp to develop their social and learning abilities.

The Skills for Life course students, who have a range of learning difficulties and disabilities, made the trip to the Calvert Trust with their college tutors to take part in various outdoor expedition activities.

Over the course of their four day adventure, students explored the surrounding hills of Lake Bassenthwaite on horseback, kayaked across the lake itself, built camp fires, zip wired and even tried their hands at archery.

With the basis of the college course being to prepare the students for gaining greater personal independence or entering the world of work, the trip acts a key stepping stone to extending their boundaries and immersing themselves in new and different experiences.

Skills for Life tutor, Mandy Fletcher, emphasised the importance of the weekend in regards to helping her students grow, she said: “A lot of these students will be limited in the people they can see and the places they can go, being able to get involved in these activities really mixes up their world in a positive way and gets them experiencing new things.

“Similarly, many tend to be stuck in the Greater Manchester areas they live in, so coming out as far as the lakes really helps bed in that ability to confidently go to new places in life and meet new people. Something people without learning difficulties often take for granted.

“New and different relationships are even formed between the students themselves, due to being in a fresh environment.

“For instance, Adam Buckley and Sarah Dearden from Workskills and Thomas Sarsfield from the Internship Programme started to support less-able learners during the trip, making sure they were ok, on time and had all the breaks they needed. That sort of confidence and ability to carry out independent tasks is exactly what this about.”

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