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Thirteen young people and three staff from Community Foster Care set off on a minibus to Bideford in North Devon for an activity adventure on August 13.
CFC's Placement Support Worker, Gavin Worrall, reports...
On arrival at Skern Lodge, we met Norman who was to be our activity leader for the during of our three-day residential.
We soon got stuck into the first activity – archery. A big shout-out to Kieran and Josh who hit the bullseye five times. Also well done to Leland who managed to lose at least one arrow after each attempt...
We then headed to the tunnels which were pitch black, very narrow and full of surprises. Needless to say, all the staff opted out of this activity. But everyone else was very brave and completed the course. Josh, Leland and Gia were extremely fast at crawling through the tunnels.
Then it was dinner – and I’d personally like to thank all the young people for their impeccable table manners this year.
After dinner came the last activity of the night - bridge jumping! We teamed up with a group of blind and partially-sighted veterans who were an inspiration to all our young people. We watched with amazement as each veteran jumped off the bridge in Bideford into the freezing cold dock. CFC young people shouted words of encouragement and let out loud cheers and clapping.
Then it was time for our young people to jump! Well done to Lewis who fearlessly jumped straight away and set the tone for everyone else. Well done Coby, Bethany and Bethany who overcame their fear of heights.
The Hartland Day included a hike across the cliffs and countryside of North Devon, abseiling down a huge cliff face and scrabbling across miles of rocks on the beach front.
Abseiling was probably our most challenging activity so far and really tested not only our young people but the staff as well. Luke and Angel were both amazing and showed real character by tackling this task head-on. Placement support worker Cally also showed what she was made of as she abseiled down the rock face despite her fear of heights.
The fact that all our young people completed the day proves what great grit and determination they have when needed. It was a great effort by all.
After dinner, everyone was treated to a dip in the outdoor heated pool and a game of pool volleyball.
This was our last day and the chosen activity was high ropes. It’s one of my personal favourites because you can see young people achieve, overcome and grow in confidence during the session. Congratulations to Casey and Ben who won the fastest pole climb: you were both sensational.
It was then time to say our goodbyes to Norman who had been exceptional with our young people all weekend, especially Tiegan who tried her hardest to annoy him (poor bloke).
The 2018 residential is right up there as one of our best. I’d like to thank all the staff at Skern Lodge who were very attentive to the needs of our group. A huge thankyou also to Sarah, Cally and Sasha for all your hard work during the three days and lastly, but by no means least, all the young people who were exceptionally behaved from start to finish. Thank you so much - I loved every minute spent with you all.
I'm looking forward to the 2019 CFC residential already!