We use the ‘Power of the Outdoors’ to transform the lives of vulnerable young people. It is easy to forget that for an 11 year old the world can be a confusing and daunting place and often this is because of circumstances out of their control. It may be school ground politics, chaotic homes lives, the pressure of being a young carer, the erosion of self esteem due to bullying, living in poverty or living in care, or a lack of positive role models.
The hurdles they face often seem insurmountable, but we believe that engaging with these typically hard to reach young people at an early stage (before they have made their life choices so that we can positively influence them), and supporting them through to aged 16, will have a real impact on their future lives. It’s not about removing their challenges, it’s about equipping these young people with the resilience to overcome them and to help them reach their full potential.
Our young peoples’ circumstances can lead to them make poor choices that will affect the rest of their lives. We help them develop the hope, confidence and resilience to overcome the challenges they face, make sound decisions, form positive friendships, exceed their expectations and achieve their full potential. Outdoor adventure inspires them, making a lasting difference to their lives.
Each year 80 vulnerable 11 and 12 year olds join our specially designed Youth Adventure Programme. We work with them over 3 school years, giving them consistent guidance, mentoring and support; during that time we take them on 3 residential camps and 8 different one-day activities, with experiences such as overnight expeditions, climbing, canoeing and bushcraft skills in the Forest of Dean, the Brecon Beacons and Dorset.
This year, we have introduced a bursary scheme, which anybody who completes the programme can apply to for financial help in allowing them to pursue further interests, opportunities or activities. So far we have helped with the purchase of football boots, a sleeping bag, walking boots and a gym membership. Furthermore, some young people who have completed the main programme, but are identified as in need of additional, more individualised support, have been invited to join our pilot mentoring scheme which will offer fortnightly meetings with a volunteer mentor for up to a year, working towards very clear objectives post programme.
75% of young people today spend less time outdoors than prison inmates. It is a sad fact that young people living in a deprived community are 6 times more likely to not have any experience of outdoor activity. Over the last 27 years we have helped over 3,900 young people and delivered more than 28,600 activity days. We know that our Programme is changing vulnerable young lives and we have ambitious plans to double the number of young people we work with by 2021.
Each place on our programme is completely free of charge for the young people, the charity covers the cost of all of their transport, accommodation, food, specialist kit, activity instruction and everything else they might need to attend our residential camps. However, on average it costs us £3,600 per place. We don't receive any government funding, all of our money is raised thanks to the generosity of our supporters,
By taking part in Hike Bike Paddle: Snowdonia 2019 you will be making a very real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people, enabling them to experience the 'power of the outdoors' for themselves.
It is a sad fact that 75% of children today spend less time outdoors than prison inmates. What's more, children from deprived communities are 6 times more likely to have had no experience of outdoor activities.
By taking part in Hike Bike Paddle 2019 you will be making a very real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people.