Like many other organisations, the Youth Adventure Trust has had to make some incredibly difficult decisions in response to the current Covid-19 outbreak. These are extremely challenging times for everybody, not least for the young people we work with.
Firstly, we would like to reassure you of our overriding principles in any decision making:
- Fulfilling our commitment to those young people we are currently working with;
- Maintaining the integrity of the charity, so we can continue to inspire young lives long into the future;
- Ensuring the wellbeing and safety of our staff, volunteers, young people and supporters.
With all this in mind, it is with huge disappointment that we have taken the decision to suspend all the Youth Adventure Programme group activities we had planned to run this year, including residential camps and day-long activities.
Instead, we will be responding to the crisis by adapting our work and using our skilled staff team and volunteers to continue supporting the young people currently in the middle of their Youth Adventure journey on an individual basis. We will offer remote support initially, and look to move towards mentoring in person once restrictions are eased. We also have the possibility of running single day activities later in the year if circumstances allow.
We will continue to provide remote mentoring and support to all the young people currently on our Mentoring Scheme, and will resume face to face sessions as soon as government guidance permits.
We are an organisation well practiced in resilience. Now, more than ever, we have an important role to play in enabling our young people to face the challenges they already experience in their daily lives, as well as the current Covid-19 crisis. Our dedicated team will continue to give them the tools to make positive decisions, develop confidence and learn skills so they can achieve their full potential.
We have to be adaptive and responsive in such challenging times, and we feel this approach is the best way to offer continued YAT support to the young people on our programme during the months ahead. The government restrictions on social interaction, combined with the inevitable impact the current situation is having on our ability to raise the funds necessary to deliver our full programme, are both key factors influencing this decision.
We have every confidence that we will find our way through this and our plan is to resume our normal programme in 2021, so long as our financial situation and the government advice allows. This means the young people currently on our programme will attend the camps and activity days scheduled for this year in 2021 instead, finishing the programme a year later than originally planned. Unfortunately, the situation also means that we will not be offering any new places on the Youth Adventure Programme during this year, to ensure we can meet our commitment to the young people we are already working with.
We are so fortunate at YAT to have an amazing, skilled, committed and caring community of volunteers, fundraisers, donors and funders who we know will join us in supporting the charity through this very challenging time, and will help us get back to where we want to be in the future. If you have any thoughts or ideas about how you may be able to help us over the coming months, then we would love to hear from you.
We sincerely thank you for all your ongoing support and will keep in touch with updates as things develop. We would also like to pass on our thoughts to you and your families as we know these are extremely difficult times for everybody.