Laura Gilchrist
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Laura Gilchrist - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1995

Hello there,

I picked up one of your 'tell us your story' cards, so thought I would!

I attended one of your 5 day residentials for young people at your Ullswater Centre when I was 16. It was part of a school residential trip and I think the year was 1995 (Sutton Coldfield Girls' School). I remember it was February time because it snowed while we were there and it was indescribably beautiful. My team made an igloo!

It was a transformative time for me.

The beauty of the natural environment, as well as the experience of working as part of a team and being taught how to actively reflect profoundly impacted me. I had never been taught how to reflect on myself before, at least not in the context of a supportive yet challenging group environment. It actually enabled me to encounter myself and to rediscover a childhood faith in God - although of course there is no faith-based dimension to the teaching and learning. I think the best phrase that I would use is that it "woke me up" to what was going on in my life at the time and enabled me to forge a new, more purposeful direction. My outward bound adventure really was a turning point in my life.

Nearly 20 years later - thank you!