With the New Year upon us we turn our attention to the Youth Adventure Programme 2022, getting ready to provide numerous adventurous opportunities for young people to challenge themselves in the year ahead. If the lockdowns taught us anything it’s that people need to get outside, to connect with nature, to escape, have space and experience what the outdoors can offer. The work we do here at YAT, offering resilience building through outdoor experiences, is more important than ever.
Young people’s opportunities for adventure are often very limited. Most schools are no longer afforded the budget or time to provide outdoor education. Lack of resources and reduced youth provision, alongside the competing demand of ever-growing technological distractions, can lead young people into a world of isolation. Computers in bedrooms, TV and films on demand, social media and phones in hand with an endless opportunity for distraction at the touch of a button can all contribute to more sedentary and secluded lifestyles. We have witnessed first hand the impact of this on young people’s mental wellbeing, their confidence, social skills and resilience.
Here at YAT we see the power of the outdoors for these vulnerable young people. That’s why we use it as a platform to help develop the resilience and skills they need to face the challenges in their lives. The experiences and environments we offer, coupled with the guidance and support of staff and volunteers, ensures the impact of our work is life changing.
“Without the Youth Adventure Trust, I would have lost my shine. When I started the programme I wasn’t in the best place mentally. Yet going away and having the experiences I had really put the light back into my life. It made me realise that bad days are just that, bad days. And without them, good days wouldn’t be as good.”
Bradley, age 14
So we are very excited to kick off another year of adventures as our programme is back in full swing. In May our Coastal Camps see us travelling to the Dorset coast, camping with stunning views to Corfe Castle. Young people will have the chance to get out on the sea and try their hand at paddleboarding, kayaking, raft building and take some real leaps of faith in coasteering!
Our summer will be action packed as ever. Firstly travelling to the Brecon Beacons for Mountain Camps with our new intake of young people where they will go caving, gorge-walking and rock climbing, as well as undertaking an overnight mountain expedition.
After that our older group will complete their Forest Camps in the Forest of Dean where they’ll have the chance for some real wilderness adventures! They’ll learn bushcraft skills and build shelters in the woods to sleep out for the night. They’ll take a canoe journey down river and sleep out under the stars. If that isn’t enough they’ll experience caving, climbing, abseiling and challenge themselves on a High Ropes course.
In addition to our camps, throughout the year we’ll be running numerous local activity days across school holidays to offer support for young people facing difficulties at home or school.
Our aim is to help young people develop the resilience, confidence and skills they need to face the challenges in their lives now and in the future, and we’ll be supporting each and every one we work with to take the path of adventure in 2022.
“Being on the programme has been amazing for me. I’m more resilient, have less anxiety meeting new people and I’m now confident enough to successfully lead a team and listen to my peers. I’m so happy I was given the opportunity to be part of the Youth Adventure Trust”
Sarah, age 15