Public Services learners from the College found their head for heights on a recent outward bound trip, leaping through the air almost 100ft above the ground.

During a week-long visit to the Rock UK Outward Bound Centre in Kent, the learners took part in a variety of challenging events, designed to develop their team work, communication and personal motivation skills. The activities included assault courses, raft building, a high rope course, abseiling, rock climbing, swimming, parachute jump, volleyball, a night hike and lots of team work scenarios.

Public services lecturer Neil Templeman said: “the whole week was physically and mentally demanding, and it was great to see the learners’ confidence develop. When we left at the end of the course, I think every learner had overcome personal battles to achieve one or other of the tasks they had faced.”

Learners agreed that some of the most challenging activities were those involving heights. One task, called ‘the leap of faith’, involved climbing a telegraph pole and standing on a tiny platform, before jumping to reach a trapeze bar 12ft away. Neil said: “This really was as much a mental challenge as a physical one – both learners and staff together had to develop the mental toughness to make that leap.”

Neil’s colleague, Sports and Public Services lecturer Nihaad Kapdi said that the learners were sad to leave the centre at the end of their week of adventure: “We’ve all taken away great memories – not just of the activities we all participated in, but of working in teams to achieve things together. We couldn’t have done things like the assault course or the raft building without learning about cooperation and effective communication.”

Learners also had to cook their own food for the week, as well as managing their own time and keeping their accommodation clean and tidy. Nihaad explained: “this wasn’t just a holiday for the learners. It was a real opportunity for them to develop the responsibility and organisation that would be crucial in a career in the uniformed services, for instance. I’m proud of the way our learners rose to all the challenges.”

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