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The Basildon Academies

Students benefit from Respect Project

Congratulations to a group of our Year 9 students who have recently completed their participation in the Essex Boys and Girls Clubs ‘Respect Project’. The project was funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation. 

Caitlin O’Brien, Chris Lambert, Joella Nyalongwembe and Stevie Jackson represented The Academies as a part of a team which included students from other secondary schools.

During the Autumn term the group met once a week to attend after school life-skills training sessions and took part in 2 days of outward bound activities. As our students learned skills and showed the enthusiasm to participate, they were then invited to a week-long residential trip in the Lake District.

The trip, in mid-December, led them to achieve more than even they thought they could. They learned mountain skills, social etiquette, life skills, and embarked on expeditions into wild mountainous areas including a night walk, summit day and overnight camping expedition.

“When I found out that I was one of the people chosen to take part in the Lake District trip I was really excited and happy. I got an opportunity to go away and try and find myself and pick up life skills I can use in the future. When I first saw students of other schools I was nervous to socialise with them but when I got to know them I became really good friends with them.” Joella Nyalongwembe.

“The whole experience was fun and challenging. I really enjoyed mountain climbing. The volunteers were really helpful and supportive.” Chris Lambert.

“There were so many great experiences. I loved the scrambling walk, going under a waterfall and camping out at night. At times some of the activities were really difficult, but we rose to the tasks no matter what.” Stevie Jackson.

“At first I thought a lot of tasks I was set I could do on my own, but with help from other people in my group I realised I could achieve a lot more as part of a team. We were given responsibilities in the cottage we stayed in, including keeping our rooms tidy and washing up. There was a living room where we could be social with all other members of the project, giving us an opportunity to reflect and discuss the day’s events. If I had a chance to go on the trip again I would. It was really fun and I met people who have now become some of my best friends.” Caitlin O’Brien.

“Throughout the project the group grew in confidence and their own characters developed. Whilst the trip was tough, tiring, challenging and hard work they discovered that ‘if you believe you can, you can’.” Clive Edwards - Respect Project Officer.

In recognition of their achievements, our students were presented with a certificate of completion by the Deputy Mayor of Basildon at a special awards ceremony. Participation in the project also saw them receive an Asdan Activities Award.