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Developing through climbing

By Col
12, Jul, 2019

Giving children with special needs the opportunity for empowering and positive experiences through climbing.

Getting through school and developing the skills needed to succeed and develop life skills can be hard enough as it is, but with special needs it can be doubly hard, if not more. The challenges ramp up, not just on an individual level, but also with the resources needed to give children the opportunities for personal, social and intellectual development.

The staff at Derrymount School, a spcial educational needs school in Nottinghamshire, certainly believe passionatley that all people have a right to be valued equally and given every opportunity to achieve their full potential in both learning and living, so they can become as independent and self-sufficient as possible.

One project that they are looking to phase in later this year is opening up the opportunity of using indoor climbing to help improve the mental health and well-being of their students (all of whom are diagnosed with autism).

Tim Meek who is heading up the project explains a little about why it’s so important for their students.

“Research and experience suggests that climbing is a mindful activity that requires the climber to be totally focussed and in the moment. This mindfulness activity plus the feelings of achievement and reward has the potential to give our students an empowering and positive experience. We aim to take 6-8 students to the Nottingham Indoor Climbing Centre each week for a duration of between 6-8 weeks”

The school has already funded Tim through the Indoor Climbing Wall Instructor qualification, so removing instructor costs. But they still needed help with funding the sessions that would enable the kids to go along.

“We hope this will give the chance for a minimum of 16 young people to climb, all of whom we hope will achieve Level 1 of the NICAS scheme with some achieving Level 2. Some of students will also be completing the climbing as part of their DofE Bronze Award (the Physical strand)”

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