There is real value in getting struggling young people, whether through their own fault or not, more active in 'the great outdoors' that creates much richer and more rewarding experiences that can help them reflect upon facing life challenges or when they have to make difficult decisions in the future.
Challenge4change is a charity who’s vision is to provide learning and development in an innovative way that engages the person, holds their interest and motivates them to learn about themselves and others whilst giving them a memorable experience. To underpin this work they are setting up an Adventure Club which offers a programme of outdoor activities alongside the DofE and John Muir Awards that they see as a real opportunity to help prevent young people becoming isolated and disillusioned in society.
Andy Jackson from Challenge4change explained a bit about the benefits that the programme could bring.
“The primary beneficiaries are young people from the deprived communities of Trafford and Salford coming from low income families and many have been identified as 'at risk' of offending, or have already offended, failing in education or have been excluded from school and so risk becoming long term unemployed adults. By offering this programme of activity we can have a real positive impact on young people society has written off, young offenders, young people displaying poor decision making that could result in them participating in anti-social risk taking or criminal behaviour. A core focus of our work is to help these young people re-engage in their education or help them get a job so reducing the pressure on the benefits system.”
Alongside creating a volunteering scheme and covering staffing they also needed extra help to be able to subsidise the activity programme costs, so making it accessible to more young people. With help from the Alpkit Foundation they will be able to give2 full months of activity budget so that they can start evening and weekend sessions.