Dewerstone 2014 - Boys

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Project Dewerstone was a 12 day residential programme held in a remote location of Dartmoor. The program involved 3 young males, a 4th young person did not appear on departure day and was therefore not involved in the program despite efforts from the YOS staff and 4 young females during the second of the two programmes. Delivered by i2i Development Solutions Ltd under the banner of Adventure Education (AE), a total of 6 AE staff were involved in the delivery; the vast majority of whom had a military background, and all of whom were trained in behavioural therapy

The concept of ‘Adventure Therapy’ was central to the work undergone during the programme. ‘Adventure Therapy’ is an adventure-based experiential development, based on a holistic experiential education model using the great outdoors as the teaching media. With day to day worries and influences removed from their immediate environment the young people are given the space to explore and discover what really matters to them. Adventurous activities such as kayaking, rock climbing and camping build confidence and self-worth. Experiential education is a process through which a young person can construct the knowledge, skill, and values from the experiences they are engaged in to change their behaviour. Group processing after each activity was used to bridge the participants' learning experience and facilitate the application of this new knowledge to their specific social and educational background. In other words, we aimed to place special emphasis on helping participants "bring their growth home" taking it forward into “the real world” making the link between the lessons learnt and the learner’s everyday lives. This is the major difference between ‘Adventure Therapy’ and outdoor activities that are solely based on physical exercise.
In addition each young person kept a log of their achievements and a daily reflection on the activity and the lessons learned, they were supported by an i2i Development Solutions practitioner in this and proved to be a powerful tool in their change work. It is recommended that this be continued and built upon during the remainder of their order. As well as group work and outdoors activities, the young people received one-to-one coaching to address some of the issues they had in terms of self-image and identity and to equip them with the skills to face the challenges of life without their behaviour negatively impacting on those around them. The programme was designed as a personal development journey that would address a number of key skills and allow young people to explore and understand their emotionally chaotic lives. Work was carried out to support the young people in rebuilding their self-image, dealing with their emotions, dealing with relationships and encouraging constructive behaviour that would enable them to shape a more positive future.

Parenting Support

Throughout each programme, each of the young people’s parents and carers were issued with appointments at the Youth Offending Service at which they engaged in parenting support sessions delivered by YOS Parenting Officers. At the request of i2i Development Solutions the parents engaged in writing letters to each of their children. The letters enabled them to express some of the feelings they may have experienced as a result of their child’s offending behaviour, how they would like their young people to change and some of the things they missed about them while they were away. These letters were then given to their child at specific moment during the programme when it was felt most beneficial for the young person.

Outcomes

Significant progress was made with all 7 young people who engaged very well throughout.
Notably GV (Male), whose behavior was transformed through careful monitoring of his diet, health and emotional state. He was supported robustly throughout the program, managing to reduce his tobacco intake, detox from alcohol and consequently demonstrating a real flare for learning and absorbing new information, ideas and thinking.

CB (Male) also engaged well and improved in confidence, social skills and practical skills, overcoming significant fears. He became communicative and more confident amongst strange crowds and has already engaged with his caseworker to return to college. JOB also responded well despite the cultural challenges presented to him and managed his emotions well, at times proving to be a real asset when the others were feeling challenged and wanted to return home in the early stages.

CB(Female) demonstrated a confident and natural leadership style which was way beyond her current expectations of herself.

Organisation
Adventure Education
Project
Dewerstone 2014 - Boys
Status
Related Portfolio