In October 2015, we awarded The Outward Bound Trust £75,000 over three years towards their Skills for Life Award Bursaries.
The Outward Bound Trust’s mission is, ‘to unlock the potential of young people through learning and adventure in the wild’. The charity is the leading provider of residential, adventurous outdoor education and personal development for young people aged 9-24 from across the UK. Professional, highly qualified Instructors facilitate challenging adventures and new experiences, in the mountains and on the water in wild locations of the UK, which help press the ‘re-set’ button for young people. The Skills for Life course, designed for young people aged 15-19, aims to develop participants’ skills in order to prepare them to make a more effective transition into sixth form, further/higher education, training or work.
- In 2017, The Outward Bound Trust delivered nine 19-day Skills for Life Award courses across our three centres in Scotland, England and Wales. Participants attended from a range of different backgrounds, and worked together to overcome a series of group challenges, including kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, gorge walking and hiking, and culminating in a self-led expedition that they planned and undertook independently.
- An important part of the course is the three 1:1 sessions that participants receive from their instructor, during which they are helped to set goals, review progress and develop an action plan. The majority found these to be useful in providing a focus for the course and setting goals. One participant commented “they were really helpful, they made me realise that I’d actually made progress with my goals when I wasn’t noticing it”. By the final session 93% agreed that it helped them to create a clear action plan for the future.
- An evaluation of the lasting impact of the course has provided evidence that the positive effects of the course are sustained 6 and 12 months on, with participants who attended in 2015 and 2016 reporting that they are seeing positive results from applying what they learnt, and expect to see positive results in the future.