Jessica's story
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Jessica's story


Meet Jessica. She is 11 years old and lives with her mum. Jessica lives alone with her mum after her parents separated. Before lockdown, she was in her last year of primary school and was looking forward to starting secondary school later in the year.

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During lockdown

When the UK went into lockdown, as a lone-parent household, Jessica and her mum had to isolate together. And like many other young people, Jessica was home-schooled by her mum during this time.

Things then got even harder for Jessica when her mum fell ill with coronavirus and wasn't able to do as much with her as before.

- Watch our short film about Jessica

Eventually, things did improve – Jessica’s mum got better, single bubbles were introduced with other households, so she had more support, and she was able to go back into primary school for a few weeks to see her friends and say goodbye to those who were going to different schools in September.

But even with the lifting of the restrictions, life remained a challenge for Jessica. She had still missed out on so much during lockdown. She didn’t see friends and family outside of her bubble for months, including her grandparents. She spent a lot more time indoors, and although home-schooled, she missed out on the support her school would have provided to help her prepare for secondary school.

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Time for adventure

This August, as part of 1,000 Days of Adventure, Jessica came to Outward Bound. Although still under restrictions, compared to the lockdown Jessica tells us she felt free whilst she was at Outward Bound.

She had the opportunity to have fun away from the pandemic – and she had plenty of it. So much that according to her mum, she couldn’t stop talking after her first experience – and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to come back for more!

Jessica did a lot of things at Outward Bound that she hadn’t done before – and thought she couldn’t do – such as wild swimming, canoeing, raft-building, cliff jumping, rowing, and ghyll scrambling. Jessica made new friends and assured us that although the group would be quiet at the start of the day, not to worry as everyone would be chatting non-stop by the end.

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Space to breath

Everyone’s experience of the pandemic is different, but the Outward Bound experience enabled Jessica to have some freedom away from it and have social interactions with other young people on a level playing field.

Following her experience, Jessica tells us she is looking forward to starting secondary school and thinks making friends will be easier now she’s spent this time at Outward Bound – she’s even made some brand new friends who will be at the same school.

Watch our short film about Jessica: she tells us what it's been like for her during lockdown, and what she has gained from her Outward Bound experience.


There’s no doubt, as a charity COVID-19 is having a significant impact on Outward Bound. If you'd like to help please make a donation to support young people attend Outward Bound in the future.

Thank you to our donors

Our Adventure Days have been made possible through a new donation of £100,000 from Barratt Developments and priority was given to young people who are eligible for free school meals.