What’s it all about?

The YAT Resilience Programme is a series of monthly activity days, takeaway challenges and an overnight expedition taking place over a year. Young people start the programme at the beginning of Year 8, finishing 12 months later as they begin Year 9. Each day will be different and offer a range of challenges, all aimed at building resilience, confidence and social skills. Activities include climbing, canoeing, coasteering; making shelters, fire lighting and an overnight adventure; learning outdoor cooking skills, first aid and animal welfare; lots of team challenges, games and fun!

The programme is completely free of charge and all the kit that’s needed will be provided. Activities are delivered by trained, qualified and experienced professionals. There are usually around 15 young people in each group, all the same age and from a couple of different schools in a similar area. They stay together as a group for the whole year so soon get to know everyone.

Young people meet their Programme Manager right from the start. They will be running every part of the programme, so soon get to know each young person well and are able to support them throughout. Young people also get to know the rest of our skilled, experienced and friendly staff and volunteer team who will be there to support, listen and encourage them to make the most of their time on the programme.

My daughter loved all aspects of the programme – she came home beaming with pride and her self esteem has grown so much.


What are the benefits?

The programme helps young people build resilience so they are better able to manage the challenges in their lives. They learn to recognise, build on and make the most of their strength, to understand themselves better, and develop the attributes and skills to make the most of their potential in the future. With a focus on social and personal confidence, developing emotional control, learning to positively embrace challenges and see the benefits of setting their own aims and committing to seeing things through, young people are able to achieve more than they thought possible.

By presenting a wide range of activities, environments and experiences which are both fun and challenging, over time young people have the chance to really focus and develop on areas they have identified for themselves, and understand how to take these back to their every day lives. There is a strong emphasis on working as a team, understanding different people and forming connections as a group. Young people are supported every step of the way by the experienced and skilled YAT team to ensure they get the most of their time on the programme.

My son has gained a great deal of confidence and independence, he has had some wonderful experiences and made new friends. He had a tendency to give up on things when they got hard, but he has pushed himself to achieve and shown that he is capable when he applies himself.

What happens on the programme?

Activity days will take place at the weekend and sometimes in the school holidays. Most days are similar in length to a school day, but there’s also the chance for a couple of longer days and an exciting overnight adventure towards the end of the year. Most activities take place fairly locally and we ask families to transport young people to the venue where possible, but if the location is further away we’ll provide transport. Each day will have a theme of some kind; it might be team challenges, search and rescue, bushcraft skills or animal care for example. We ask young people to challenge themselves but it’s always their choice.

At the start of the programme we ask young people to set themselves some personal aims to work towards during their time on the programme. This helps them to take ownership and work towards what they can individually get out of the experiences. We support young people throughout the year to review, reflect and find ways to work on their aims. Their aims might be around developing confidence, social skills, emotional control, a positive approach to challenge or leadership skills for example.

During each activity day we set young people Takeaway Challenges, which are activities to do away from the programme. The challenge will be related to the activity or theme from the day, and will help further develop and reinforce the area that has been the focus. This could include, for example, creating a new positive habit, identifying personal attributes and learning to see these in other people, volunteering in the community or further practicing skills such as cooking a meal for their family.

This has really helped me. I wouldn’t be able to do anything like this if I weren’t in this programme. It challenges me more than most stuff, I would say.”
Lloyd age 13