Ely College pupils thrive on Welsh adventure

AN intrepid group of Ely College students and staff spent a week in the mountains of North Wales, enduring caving expeditions, rock climbing and canoeing.

The trip, funded by a range of local and national charities - including the Trinity Dole Charity, Ely Hereward Rotary Club, the Needhams Foundation, Ely Rotary Club, Littleport Rotary Club, Sainsbury’s and The Prince’s Trust - was specially arranged for students engaged in the college’s alternative provision.

The activities certainly tested their mettle, they jumped off cliffs into freezing cold water, crawled down into tight caves, and righted capsized canoes.

The group was made up of pupils who find it difficult to engage in mainstream classes for a range of behavioural, emotional and psychological reasons, and require intensive support from a team of specialist teachers and support staff.

Max Coney, inclusion officer at Ely College, said: “They were in awe of the mountains of Wales and, through living, cooking and working together in such close proximity, they experienced a real sense of ‘community’, often for the first time.”

Ron Bradney, of Littleport Rotary Club, said: “These young people are often labelled as being difficult and disruptive, but the problem is almost always in the way they are misunderstood and let down by adults.

“The sort of care and specialist attention provided by Max and his colleagues at the college enables these remarkable children to prove themselves in ways they never thought possible.”