George’s Story: The Path To My Future

The Youth Adventure Trust has set me on a great path for the rest of my future.

George was referred to the Youth Adventure Trust by his school in 2012 when he was 11 years old, because of confidence and social issues. He found teamwork and social situations difficult, struggled to make friends and found it hard to fit in with his peer group.

George believes that taking part in the Youth Adventure Programme has helped him to gain experience, build his confidence and try new things.

I want to say thanks to the Youth Adventure Trust because of what they have helped me with… developing life skills, always looking to go out of my comfort zone, not being afraid to chance my dreams, plus many more.

George is now 18 years old, and since completing the Youth Adventure Programme he has continued to take on new challenges:

Six months after finishing the programme, George had joined Taekwondo, was going sailing, had started guitar and drama classes and was looking forward to starting his Duke of Edinburgh Award.

One year after finishing the programme, George had become a blue stripe in Taekwondo, was doing a motor boat course and had almost completed his bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Two years after finishing the programme, George was now a red stripe in Taekwondo, was volunteering at a local hospice helping to build bikes and was looking forward to going to college.

A once in a lifetime opportunity

In 2018, the Jubilee Sailing Trust approached the Youth Adventure Trust to identify any young people who had completed the Youth Adventure Programme and might like to take part in an eight-day voyage around the Canary Islands as crew aboard one of their tall ships, The Lord Nelson. The Jubilee Sailing Trust is a disability charity, promoting integration of people with all levels of physical ability through the challenge and adventure of tall ship sailing. The Youth Adventure Trust asked George, another young person called Theo and a regular programme volunteer, Alex, whether they would be interested. They jumped at the opportunity!

This is what Alex had to say about George’s time on the voyage:

“George was a great advert for the Youth Adventure Trust. He was incredibly engaged, always helpful and enthusiastic. He made many friends and fellow crew members were impressed with his positive attitude, confidence and compassion for others. He demonstrated a fantastically adventurous spirit, which he attributed to the Youth Adventure Trust. His conduct… completely reinforces the value of the Youth Adventure Programme and demonstrates just how well it can help young people develop confidence, overcome difficulty, be positive and strive to achieve.”

The impact of the Youth Adventure Programme

George believes that participating in the Youth Adventure Programme allowed him to handle the physically and mentally demanding challenge of crewing a tall ship. Throughout the trip George shared the impact that the Youth Adventure Programme had on him and highlighted how handling the challenge was only possible because of the benefits he had got from the activity days and camps, and the support, coaching and encouragement he had received at that time.

George is now studying computer science at college while working part time and is hoping to go to university. He recognises how his experiences with the Youth Adventure Trust have shaped him into the young adult he is today

“If it wasn’t for the Youth Adventure Trust I most likely wouldn’t have my job as a watersports instructor, as I probably wouldn’t have the confidence to run the sessions, and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to have got my qualifications to do that job. I wouldn’t feel ready to go to university without the skills they gave me, such as teamwork, compromising, patience and confidence… I can’t wait to see what obstacles come my way and figure out how to overcome them. Thanks to you all for making it possible for me being who I am now.”