About Us

The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity that uses the outdoors to help develop young people from all walks of life. Through the generosity of our donors, we are able to run adventurous and challenging outdoor learning programmes that equip young people with valuable skills for education, work and life. We help them become more confident, more effective and more capable at school, college and in the workplace.

We also deliver apprentice and graduate development programmes with companies like Volkswagen and BAE, as well as leadership and team development courses.

All our programmes inspire and motivate people and take place in the natural environment, away from distractions or modern amenities. Participants learn a deep appreciation of the balance between risk, reward and responsibility and leave our programmes with transferrable, essential life skills, including:

  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Listening and communicating effectively
  • Facing a challenge with determination 
  • Cooperation and collaboration 
  • Maintaining a positive outlook, even when things get tough
  • Effective leadership skills

These skills have been shown to have a profound impact on the future success of individuals in both education and employment, and on their overall wellbeing.

We bring out the best in people, irrespective of their backgrounds, from school children through to senior managers. We teach them that they can achieve whatever they set out to do.

Generations of success

To date over a million people have benefited from the Outward Bound experience. So we’ve encouraged some of them to share their memories online, through our unique Generations project. This online library is a place where past participants can share their stories, reconnect with former 'Outward Bounders' and inspire future adventurers.

Then…

The Trust was founded in 1941 by Lawrence Holt and Kurt Hahn as a school for merchant seamen. After the war, The Trust developed an educational programme that promoted the principles of independence and self-awareness through outdoor learning experiences.

… and now

Today, we are the UK's leading provider of bursary-assisted outdoor learning. In 2015 we worked with 23,922 young people. 3,228 participated through apprentice, graduate or team development programmes. A further 19,789 joined us from schools and colleges.

In the future we will give more young people from all walks of life the chance to show what they’re capable of achieving with the right support, challenge and encouragement.

Above all, our goal is to foster a sense that anything is possible, where participants leave with renewed optimism, raised aspirations and improved self-esteem.