2021: our year in review
Back to our blog

2021: our year in review

Nick Barrett, CEO

As we come to the end of 2021, we are all well versed in the language of uncertainty and risk and no doubt further turbulence lies ahead. However, I’d like to focus on just how much we have achieved together.

It is hard to adequately express the joy at having young people back at our centres. It has been quite a journey. From the forlorn desolation of empty buildings throughout much of 2020 and 2021 via our hugely well received UK-wide In-School Adventure programme, we finally and properly re-opened in the summer. In total, we have supported over 15,000 young people over the last year.

As we enter our 80th anniversary year, it would be remiss of me to not pay tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. As Patron of Outward Bound from 1953-2019 his death in April saw the end of his longest standing charitable commitment. Without his passion, determination and support over many years Outward Bound UK would not exist today. We will ensure his legacy lives on.

We are ending the year on a high with The Times and Sunday Times selecting us as one of the charities for their Christmas Appeal. From Sir Chris Bonington to Jessica (age 12), our stories are being shared on a national scale. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Barratt Developments and an anonymous donor all donations up to £400,000 will be matched.

We end the year in a very good place. I will be in touch again early in 2022 with more news as we ride the next stage of the Covid rollercoaster.

For now, I simply want to say a sincere thank you for your ongoing support and generosity. On behalf of everyone at Outward Bound, I wish you a very Happy Christmas.

More 2021 highlights here...

In School Adventures

2021 started with lockdowns and restrictions. Whilst schools couldn't travel to us, we went to them. Our hugely successful UK-wide In School Adventure programme ran until the summer.

We wrote two reports of our work post-COVID. They're real time analysis of the way that we helped young people as the nation adapted to the challenges of the pandemic.

Young people back at our centres

Residentials for apprentices and graduates ran in line with government guidelines (at reduced numbers, with social distancing etc) at Eskdale from January. We were ahead of the game, and this gave us confidence that our usual safety procedures were more than capable of adapting to guidelines.

It was in the summer, that all of our other centres opened to welcome young people back for residential adventures.

Generation Green

Generation Green is the first project to be delivered by the Access Unlimited coalition. The coalition comprises YHA (England & Wales), The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks.

Generation Green is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and is a 16-month funded project that aims to provide over 100,000 opportunities to connect young people to nature, create and save jobs, and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.

Our flagship programmes: The Right to Explore: Young Leaders and Women's Outdoor Leadership Course have both had funding.

80 years of Outward Bound

Outward Bound was founded in 1941 to save young lives directly threatened in World War II. 80 years later we found ourselves celebrating a milestone anniversary, once more immersed in an entirely different type of war against a very different enemy. Again, we have chosen not to sit back, inspiring and empowering young people so they leave our courses with the determination they need to overcome the challenges ahead of them.

We took a moment to reflect on our heritage on the anniversary of our first course in October. From why we have ropes courses... to the long standing tradition of jog and dip...

Back to events

A huge amount of money is raised and donated to Outward Bound through live events.

For most of the pandemic, restrictions on large scale gatherings meant that many events were cancelled or postponed.

A highlight for us in 2021 was cheering on our London Marathon runners in October... many of whom had been expecting to race in April 2020! Determination, resilience and a positive mindset - our fabulous runners truly embodied the spirit of Outward Bound.

The Times and Sunday Times Christmas appeal

We are delighted to be one of The Times and Sunday Times Christmas appeal charities.

We have been chosen in this pandemic year, as our work in using the great outdoors in building character, resilience and confidence among young people is more vital than ever.

Over the festive period, The Times and Sunday Times printed 14 articles telling the stories of the young people, schools, youth groups and alumni who have benefited from Outward Bound over the years.