Social Impact Report

Young people growing up in the UK today face multiple barriers to living healthy, happy and successful lives. Their well-being is in decline, they are increasingly likely to experience a mental health disorder, and their physical health continues to be a cause for concern, with more than a third of 11-15 year olds overweight or obese.

Many find that, when they start looking for work, they lack the attributes that employers require and, once in employment, they do not possess the skills that enable them to adapt quickly and succeed. Those from poorer backgrounds face an even greater number of barriers, as their educational attainment continues to fall well below that of those from richer backgrounds. They are also more likely to experience mental and physical health concerns, making it harder for them to find and remain in meaningful employment.


The Outward Bound Trust tackles these issues by developing in young people the skills and behaviours that will lay the foundation for positive attitudes and behaviours throughout adolescence and into adulthood. We do this by exposing young people to new and challenging experiences in wild outdoor environments.

We work with over 25,000 young people every year to help them develop these vital attitudes, skills and behaviours.


Download - The journey of a young person here (pdf)

Journey Of Young Person Map

Theory of Change

Our Theory of Change sets out the four key principles that underpin how we design our courses, and the steps that lead to more empowered young people who are able to thrive in whatever they do.

Download - Theory of Change here (pdf)

Theory Of Change Image

The evidence presented in our 2017 report is drawn from our own evaluations, independent studies and testimonials from participants, parents, teachers and employers. The findings from data we have collected from participants have been externally verified.

This gives a clear indication that young people who participate in an Outward Bound course while they are in school or as an apprentice or graduate become:

    • More confident
    • More resilient
    • Able to stay calm in difficult situations
    • Better able to interact positively with others
    • Able to work more effectively to achieve their goals

Our evidence shows that these skills and behaviours are gained by young people after their course and for months and years that follow.

 Confident      vvvvv 

Young people who are more confident and who believe in themselves

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Young people who are more resilient, able to cope with stresses and persevere through setbacks

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Young people who are more focused and proactive

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Young people who are better able to work in teams and interact positively with others

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Young people who are more aware of, and connected with, the natural environment 

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Lasting Impact: young people are empowered to make positive changes in their lives and thrive in their education, their training and at work

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The lasting impact of workplace behaviours

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Developing resourcefulness, resilience and responsibility at MEF

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Developing time management, organisation and responsibility at Unilever

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