The Impact of our Day Activities

Across the two years of our Adventure Programme we witness our young people achieving huge gains. They become more resilient so are better able to manage the challenges in their lives; they learn to recognise, build on and make the most of their strength; they understand themselves better, and develop the attributes and skills to make the most of their potential in the future. The foundations for this are the strong relationships we develop with our young people, and also with their families. Key to this are the day activities that make up part of the Adventure Programme, providing continuity and regular points of contact between camps.

The environment, duration and activities at camps create easy to spot opportunities for personal development. The platform provided by single day activities can be more subtle, but nonetheless they are a hugely important part of the success of the programme. The days enable us to see young people regularly, in most school holidays, which is a chance for our Programme Managers to catch up on what is happening in their lives and build on the relationships they have with them and their families. For our young people it’s a chance to build trust in the YAT staff and the volunteers who support them. This is crucial to the continued attendance and impact of the rest of the programme.

At these days the smaller group size gives access to a wide range of activities including plenty that don’t feature on the camps such as animal care, art and cooking, as well as more typical adventurous activities. Young people have the chance to experience things that challenge them in different ways, may be aligned to their interests and talents, and give them the chance for more focused time with their Programme Manager and other young people.

Watching the young people absorbed in the calming magic of retired racehorses, forgetting all their worries and having a relaxed fun time was really special and one I’ll remember for a long time.

Susie, Day Activity Volunteer

The day activities afford our Programme Managers an opportunity to maintain and strengthen relationships with young people. They may notice something especially positive a particular young person has done, and can feed that back home to parents and carers the same day. This helps to keep families engaged and to encourage them to celebrate these successes at home. Sometimes a simple photo sent home can mean all the world to a parent worrying about the anxious child they dropped off in the morning;

We received the photo! I don’t mind admitting there was a tear about how well she’s doing! She speaks so highly of you and it’s really reassuring to know she’s in safe hands.


These regular days with smaller groups allow Programme Managers the chance for more individual time with each young person during the activities, to join in alongside them, and to hear about how things are going for them. Often young people choose this time to share important news from their lives, worries or problems they are having. We can then offer support, help them to take action, or pass on information to the people who need to know. Sometimes we are aware in advance about issues going on, and it’s a chance to offer them an opportunity in a safe space to talk with adults who will listen attentively and take an interest in them.

The days are a point of regular connection with our young people, a chance to check in on them, and another opportunity to work on the aims they have each set themselves for their time on the programme. Their aims might be around developing confidence, social skills, emotional control or leadership skills for example. The smaller group settings at the days allow Programme Managers further opportunities to create chances to work on these, such as encouraging new friendships, working with different people and supporting someone else less able or confident. This can create new and positive friendships, or further strengthen the bonds they have within the group.

I feel like I am more confident around my peers and like I can be myself more. I feel like people saw a different side to me and I don’t feel the need to act differently to fit in

Emily, age 12

The impact of our day activities and the opportunities they afford us as part of a much bigger picture should not be underestimated. We are very grateful to the volunteers who regularly give their time to these days, ensuring we can meet the needs of the young people attending. Their kindness, patience, attention and enthusiasm are key to the success of each and every day. Every moment we spend with our young people builds on the last, allowing us to better achieve our aims of boosting resilience, developing confidence and enabling young people to fulfil their potential.