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Caring for six active children during coronavirus lockdown a team effort for Gamble family


Danielle and Kevin Gamble with their children Jude, Ben, Oscar, Jonah, Georgia and Finn

Danielle and Kevin Gamble with their children Jude, Ben, Oscar, Jonah, Georgia and Finn

Danielle and Kevin Gamble with their children Jude, Ben, Oscar, Jonah, Georgia and Finn

You might think looking after six children under the age of 10 would be a nightmare during the lockdown - but a Belfast mum reckons a well-structured routine for the sporty siblings is the key to her success.

Danielle Gamble (37) and her husband Kevin (37) live in west Belfast with their children Jude (9), Ben (8), Oscar (7), Jonah (5), Georgia (3) and Finn (1).

While things could sound hectic with that many kids all under one roof, fitness fan Danielle's sense of discipline and routine has helped keep things running smoothly even under difficult circumstances.

"The kids are usually quite active in general," said Danielle, whose family appeared on BBC Breakfast on Saturday.

"They play a lot of Gaelic sports and they are out training usually every night of the week.

"That has been a bit of a challenge in terms of curbing their enthusiasm for those type of activities. We are blessed enough that we have a big back garden and their dad is actually their coach, so he has been able to set up some skills and training drills for them.

"They have been doing that daily, so we might actually have some good hurlers by the end of all this."

Though home schooling such a range of her children is difficult, Danielle said it is a team effort, with the older children helping the younger ones. She also explained that educational packs from St Anne's Primary School, and a little inspiration from her sister, who is a teacher herself, have also been invaluable.

"My sister is an amazing teacher. She is always there to bounce ideas off and help me think outside the box, which is great," added Danielle. "I went to school 30 years ago and the curriculum and the ways of teaching now have completely changed, so it is all about me adapting really."

Offering some words of advice to other parents, Danielle suggested "thinking outside the box" and also highlighted the benefits of time outdoors, while observing social distancing.

"As long as we can get out in a safe social distancing way, get outside and keep active, even if it is only just in the back garden... even throwing the back doors open."

While lockdown is a challenge, Danielle said having so much time together as a family is a silver lining.

"Let's take the positives. We will look back on this, God willing, and say we got through it and we will have learned a few lessons about what is really important in life," she added.

Belfast Telegraph