Mr. Bob Downing,
DHA Charity Secretary
"Since I started teaching at Brookfield School, Kirkby in 1967 I must have taken around 200 groups (5,000 young people) to Dolly Hall. I have wonderful memories of the times spent walking, climbing, kayaking, camping, swimming, playing football, quad biking and so many other activities but none more treasured than simply spending quality time with the youngsters in and around Dolly Hall. I retired from teaching in 2007 and this has given me more time to take groups to the Hall on Work Experience which has been of great benefit not only to the Hall but also to the young people themselves. I have also taken groups of young people in their late teens who have not had an easy life and who are not in education, employment or training, some at risk of offending and some who have offended. During such visits we have undertaken many jobs, including concreting, gardening, painting, tiling, joinery, tree surgery and jet washing. During one visit we spread 32 tons of gravel onto the drive in 2 days. Oh yes, we also spilled a full 10 litre tin of white masonry paint which I had to clean up!
Their experience at Dolly Hall has a lasting effect on these young people because they feel a sense of self worth and responsibility which perhaps is new to them and they are proud of what they achieve. One said to me: "it's been the best week of my life" and is now working with a provider delivering life skills courses in schools.
During the past 5 decades Dolly Hall has been such an indelible and influential part of the young lives of thousands and thousands of children and young people. Our mission is that it will still be there for their grandchildren and great grandchildren for generations to come. I know it will."