Inspiring young lives through the outdoors

We don’t need to tell you about the benefits of getting outdoors and getting active, but for the more vulnerable people in our society it’s not always that easy.

Why the Youth Adventure Trust?

At the Youth Adventure Trust, we believe everybody should have the opportunity to benefit from getting outdoors and being active. It’s good for your mental health, great for your physical health, builds resilience, encourages you to step outside your comfort zone, helps you develop confidence and enables you to achieve more than you realised you were capable of.  Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t have access to outdoor opportunities and the many benefits they bring.

If you live in a deprived community you are 6 times more likely to have had no previous experience of outdoor activity.  Sadly, it has been proven that “Those who face the most adversity are least likely to have the resources necessary to build resilience.” What’s more, we know that people living in poverty and those with complex needs are much more likely to develop a mental illness.

We use the outdoors as a platform to help vulnerable young people aged 11-16 years old unlock their potential and lead positive lives in the future. Our specially designed Youth Adventure Programme, which spans 3 school years, is a genuinely life changing opportunity, giving young people the chance to build resilience, develop confidence and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

Who do we help?

Each year 120 eleven and twelve year olds join our Programme. They are referred to us for many reasons but they are all vulnerable and they are all facing challenges in their lives due to circumstances outside their control. They may be living in poverty, looked after in care or have extremely chaotic homes. They could be struggling at school, experiencing bullying, have low self esteem or very little self confidence. They might struggle to make friends, be making poor friendship choices or lack positive role models. Often it is a combination of factors.

Outdoor adventure provides a framework which we use to support each young person to build on their personal strengths, enabling them to become reflective, see their abilities and challenge themselves to develop in the ways which will help them in the long term.  The hurdles these young people face in their everyday lives can often seem overwhelming, but we give them a real chance to change, helping them to believe they can have an influence on their own future. We equip them with the resilience to overcome their challenges, enabling them to develop confidence, independence and the ability to flourish despite difficulties. 

How do we help?

Our specially designed Youth Adventure Programme includes 3 residential camps and 8 activity days for each young person over three school years, supplemented with the ongoing support, mentoring and guidance of our skilled team of Programme Managers.  Each activity is designed to challenge the young people and help them develop key skills; for example the overnight mountain expedition helps them to build the resilience they need to face the challenges in their lives, climbing encourages them to trust others which may be hard to do if they have been consistently let down and caving draws out teamworking and communication skills which may otherwise elude some of the more socially isolated young people. 

Our staff and volunteers help the young people to set their own personal objectives and work with them over the 3 years to achieve their goals.  Our young peoples’ circumstances can lead to them make poor choices that will affect the rest of their lives. On our programme they learn to make positive decisions, believe in themselves, exceed their expectations and achieve their full potential.

The main programme is followed by our after-care programme which includes a Bursary Scheme and a Mentoring Scheme, to ensure the young people have the best chance of getting the maximum benefit from our long-term intervention 

Since 1992 we have helped over 4,000 vulnerable young people, by providing more than 29,000 activity days and personalised support.  We broaden the horizons of young people who otherwise are unlikely to experience such valuable outdoor opportunities.

There are no financial barriers to taking part as our programme is entirely free of charge to all the young people, their families and the organisations who nominate them to take part. We cover all the costs of transport, accommodation, food, equipment, activity instruction, staffing and everything else. A place on our three year Programme costs an average of £3,600. We don’t get any government funding and rely on the support of generous individuals, businesses and trusts to deliver our life changing programme for vulnerable young people.

You can help!

There are many ways you can get involved with the Youth Adventure Trust and make a lasting difference in the lives of young people:

  • Take part in a Youth Adventure Challenge: If you are looking for an adventure with meaning then our team and individual challenges are just the thing.
  • Sponsor An Adventure: You can follow a vulnerable child’s progress on their Youth Adventure journey by making a regular gift
  • Become a corporate partner: Our bespoke corporate partnerships offer a meaningful way for your company to create a legacy for the next generation of outdoor adventurers
  • Volunteer with us: Help on our programme, become a mentor or support our fundraising events; we’re always looking for new and enthusiastic people to get involved

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