Covid: Home-schooling pushed former Royal Marine 'to breaking point'

Published
Related Topics
image captionMark Ormrod said trying to home school his children during the Covid crisis had been "brutal"

A former Royal Marine who fought in Afghanistan said home-schooling during Covid pushed him to "breaking point".

Mark Ormrod, from Plymouth, lost both legs and an arm when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2007.

He said balancing his work for a veterans charity while teaching two of his children was one of his "most traumatic memories".

"I was going to bed each night drained and wiped out," he said.

When schools closed to most children during England's first Covid-19 lockdown in March last year, Mr Ormrod found himself "caught off guard".

The former Royal Marine and his partner Becky, were tasked with home-schooling their nine-year-old son Mason, and seven-year-old daughter, Evelyn.

image copyrightMark Ormrod
image captionMark Ormrod is a former Royal Marine who fought in Afghanistan

"We were getting up every day from eight thirty to one o'clock trying to school them, then working ourselves from after lunch until seven, eight, nine in the evening to make sure we didn't fall behind from our own workload," he said.

A busier schedule meant Mr Ormrod, who has two prosthetic legs, was unable to get out for exercise, which he relied on for his mental health.

'Brutal'

"Sometimes I'd go three or four days without putting my legs on, and even getting out of my pyjamas didn't seem worth it because my workload was mounting up and I had to stick to the teaching schedule," he said.

"All of it together combined was just brutal."

The father of three, who is classed as a key worker along with his partner, has been able to send their children back to school in the latest lockdown.

Mr Ormrod said he was thankful for the "unique skill" teachers provided, and reminded fellow parents it was "normal" to struggle.

"It's a crazy world out there, and I think so long as we're doing a little bit, we're doing alright."

Follow BBC News South West on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to spotlight@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story