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The Times and Sunday times 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.
Children come back bigger, stronger, a bit more confident
Success isn't a given at Outward Bound.
Ishrat is 11. She didn't make it to the top of the waterfall. “I’m not happy because I wished I’d done it. I regret it.”
But Miss Hemmings (her head teacher) can see what will happen the next time. "She’ll remember that feeling and think: ‘I’m not going to be that person. I’m going to do it’.”
Find out more about Tanfield Lea Community Primary School's visit to Howtown. For many of the young people, this is the first time they've left their families in County Durham.
A headteacher's perspective of Outward Bound...
Why choose Outward Bound? St Paul's RC Academy in Dundee have analysed exactly this. Benefits include raised academic standards, less reliance on mobile phones and the impact even affects the ethos of the whole school, reaching children who haven't been on the trip.
7 out of 10 pupils at the school are in the most deprived three tenths of children nationally. Some have never been on holiday. The expeditions undertaken at Outward Bound push all participants outside their comfort zone.
Read the full article in The Times here.
From council estate to Cambridge
"There’s something about being plucked out of that comfort zone and being transported to a place you’re not familiar with... That’s when the most growth happens."
In Josh's interview with the Sunday Times he talks about the positive impact the outdoors had on him growing up. Through Outward Bound, thousands of young people from inner-cities are able to access the outdoors every year, something that Josh describes as "providing me with a lot more mental clarity" and in his opinion helped on the journey to where he is today.
No phones... a chance to have deep chats
“I thought I’d be awful at it [canoeing] but maybe I should be in the Olympics now!” Jasmine shouts. In two days she has undergone a radical transformation in confidence.
If you parent / work with / care for / know / heck even just walk past a teenage girl - please take a read of this story. Flixton Girls’ School, in Greater Manchester, has been sending pupils to Outward Bound for years. But their teachers believe the trip is needed more than ever. This is powerful stuff about the challenges young girls and women face, how lockdown exacerbated this and the impact learning in the outdoors can have.
Reversing the disastrous effects of lockdown
This story shows exactly why more funding is needed for young people to attend a life-changing outdoor learning and adventure course.
The students from Walsall Academy took part in an epic December journey. To say the weather was extreme is downplaying it... and the young people were camping. Resilience, determination and a willingness to achieve - this is a corker of a course.
The benefits don't just come on the mountains... they last well into the students future lives.
"You are more than you think - and you can do it"
Ruky's story is one of an unaccompanied teenage refugee from Somalia, arriving to the UK with no English who was to be badly bullied… Outward Bound changed her life. It is a hugely powerful story, and we are incredibly proud of all that Ruky has gone on to achieve.
“When I was at school I came close to giving up. I thought, ‘My parents aren’t here, I’ve lost contact with my family, there is no one to be proud of me. Outward Bound showed me that the people around you, even if they don’t know you, will cheer you on and be proud and happy for you. Outward Bound is for everyone, young or old, because as humans we shouldn’t limit ourselves. I really mean it when I say that that course changed my life completely.”
How Outward Bound set the stage for stardom
If you ask Alfie Boe, celebrated tenor, with 14 albums and numerous worldwide tours under his belt, the secret of his success - Outward Bound is the answer... “I wouldn’t have got here without it.”
“The lessons from Outward Bound stuck with me. I came to see you have to accept challenges, not back down from them. Throw yourself from that platform, dive into that freezing cold lake ... and see through music college. I did. I stuck it out, and I put that completely down to the course.”
We are very grateful to have the support of Alfie today. And in this article in the Sunday Times he tells us how his course at Eskdale in 1990 helped shape his future.
How being outside helped refresh this teen's mind
Tori was just 13 when the first lockdown hit, she developed such bad anxiety she barely ate or left her room.
For Tori (now 15), lockdowns weren't just about a loss of schooling. "I got tired of myself . . . I was lost in my own head. I hadn’t seen people for so long, I had forgotten how to speak to people. The idea of ringing my mates, it became awkward. What do I say? I lost basic social skills.”
In this article, we find out how Outward Bound has helped her build her confidence, develop new friendships and lessen her worry.
A lifeline for a locked-in girl
Jessica, age 12, has ADHD, dyslexia and hypermobility. She is the only child of single Mum Kath. Kath recalls the incredible impact just one Outward Bound adventure day had on her daughter after months of homeschooling, and watching her key worker Mum suffer with Covid.
“The impact of just dropping her off and picking her up was huge, she said ‘I want to do more, I want to do more’. It was unbelievable the effect it had on her. I got my daughter back."
Jess is now hoping to attend an Outward Bound residential in summer 2022. She's selling spider plants and saving any Christmas money she gets. You could help more young people like Jess, by reading, sharing and donating to The Times and the Sunday Times Christmas appeal.
Barratt Developments match funding
Barratt Developments and the Barratt Foundation have kindly offered matched funding to The Outward Bound Trust for The Times and Sunday Times Appeal. Meaning, that for every £1 donated to Outward Bound, Barratt Developments and The Barratt Foundation will double the donation up to £300,000.
About Barratt Developments
Barratt Developments plc is the country’s largest housebuilder. Barratt is committed to building high quality homes and this year received more NHBC Pride in the Job Quality awards than any other housebuilder for the 17th year in a row and was awarded 5 stars by its customers in the HBF satisfaction survey for the 12th year in a row. The Barratt Foundation is a new organisation which draws together all of the charitable work that Barratt does.
Young people need adventure more than ever
"The principles of Outward Bound are spot on. They give you that combination of resilience and helping others. The children learn to be good citizens, to respect the outdoors and each other."
Resilience is a modern buzzword, but it is embodied in our most distinguished mountaineer, Sir Chris Bonington. And we're incredibly proud to call him our Deputy Patron. He spoke to The Times in support of the #TimesChristmasAppeal. Please read, share and donate...
From a concrete jungle to the mountains
The teenagers from the Bradfield Club do not venture much beyond the local square mile in Peckham, south London — except when they are conquering mountains.
"We climbed the mountain — 7.5 hours. I didn’t only see the achievement, I felt the achievement. I felt the positive energy on the top of that mountain.”
Without funding, these young people from would never have had the chance to experience wild Britain.
Changing your mindset
Yousuf was a troubled teen, until this lightbulb moment on his 13 hour solo expedition at Outward Bound; an experience enhanced because of the lack of technology or distractions.
“I was in my tent and as I was in my sleeping bag listening to the rain fall, I realised that for nearly two weeks I had not felt any anger or anxiety. It just clicked that the outdoors does help me, that I’m not just some stroppy kid. That if I put my mind to something and surround myself with the right people I can do stuff that puts me out of my comfort zone.”
Turning on the lights for young people
The Times joined Erasmus Darwin Academy at their week long residential at Outward Bound Aberdyfi in November. In this article they talk about how the lights need to be turned on for children across the country after the darkness of pandemic. And that Outward Bound has the lights. Or headtorches, at least.
Miss Groves from the school comments... “Some children are not willing to go that extra mile unless they are dragged by their fingernails. By the end of the week, though, it is the ones you least expect that end up being the biggest achievers.”
Helping young people manage risk
In our first article in The Times, Outward Bound trustee Leo Houlding meets with a group of year 6 students from Tanfield Lea primary school in County Durham. They were just about to embark on their first climbing adventure in the Lake District.
“Outward Bound is about showing them that they can do whatever they want if they set their mind to it,” Leo says. “It’s about going out and getting cold and being uncomfortable and realising that being uncomfortable makes being comfortable feel really good."
What does an Outward Bound programme look like?
The Times and Sunday Times joined students from Erasmus Darwin Academy on their outdoor residential in November 2021.
This short film is from that programme. The learning and adventure young people experience at Outward Bound helps them to stretch themselves, develop resilience and become more curious. At a time when children have missed a lot of school and social bonding time because of the pandemic such opportunities are especially valuable.