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My Dovecote Project Journey

The Dovecote inclusive project has been operating for approximately 21 years and during this time we had the pleasure of a Dwayne John attending our facilities from the age of 5 years old. Dwayne was introduced to our project when his charming mother Delyth a local resident of Blackbird Leys came to work for us. Delyth worked for many years in our afterschool club, Easter and summer play schemes.

This is Dwayne’s story;

I spent many Easter and summer holidays enjoying lots of activities and opportunities at the Dovecote holiday play schemes. Attending the schemes also provided me with the opportunity to socialise and make lots of new friends with other children living in my community. Having this opportunity not only gave me a sense of belonging whilst growing up in Greater Leys the newer part of Blackbird Leys, it also helped build my confidence, self esteem, social skills and many lifelong skills such as team work, problem solving…

I went on to be a volunteer at Dovecote whilst studying for my public services qualification at OCVC. I chose to volunteer at Dovecote because it is in my local area and having benefitted personally from attending the project. I also appreciated and valued the work the project does for children and young people within my community. After a year of volunteering, I was then offered to work when needed at the after school club and full time during the Easter and summer holiday play scheme including Dovecote Afloat, narrow boat project. Whilst working at the project, I was a valued member of staff and was perceived as a role model by a lot of the children whom knew me from the estate. It was very rewarding and a pleasure to support children and young people to really engage with the multiple activities on offer to them. Observing the enjoyment, satisfaction and value children and young people gained from experiencing and participating in the following activities; arts and crafts, sports, gaming and trips away to theme parks, zoos, swimming, the canal boat and much more was very gratifying.

Through working at Dovecote, I began to understand the importance of working with others to help them achieve success or develop new skills, through completing a lap of the swimming pool, or teaching them how to create an origami swan. Now as a HR professional, I really enjoy the learning and development aspects where I help others achieve success or develop new skills through HRD practices. This has included:

  • Supporting young adults with disabilities with interview skills
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Implicit bias and race awareness training
  • Transition from school to work programmes
  • Work clubs