Tuesday 9 June 2015

Working with The Prince's Trust. May 19th - 22nd 2015.

Back in April, Iain was asked if he would be prepared to work as a leader for the business Mountain Explorers who were operating a number of residential courses for The Prince's Trust around The Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

As well as running his own business, Iain readily works for other providers of outdoor courses as & when required to fill in the gaps in his diary.

Iain met the group from Princes Trust Dewsbury upon their arrival in The Lake District at the Great Tower Scout Activity Centre on Windermere. The original plan had been to go on to the lake to try out canoeing - something which the group were really keen to try, however it was deemed to be too windy for canoeing and so the group tried their hand at Archery instead! (photo one).
The Prince's Trust is a charity founded by Prince Charles in 1976. The Prince's Trust aims to work with young people from four priority target groups. These are the long-term unemployed, people who have been in trouble with the law, people who are in difficulty at school, and people who have been in care. These young people are considered by the Prince's Trust as being "disadvantaged". A small number of people who are employed also go on some Prince’s Trust courses. Known as the employed participants scheme, it is used as a learning and development opportunity (to develop the employee's skills), as additional support to the programme's young people (the employed participants act as additional mentors or support to young people) and as a fundraising initiative (as the employer pays a training fee for their staff member to attend)

As part of their Prince's Trust Programme, all participants are expected to undertake a residential in which they will live together and work together through a series of activities or challenges and they are also expected to cook their own meals as well as those of the support staff who will be working with them.

As already mentioned, on day one, the group tried out Archery  at Great Tower Scout Camp and after staying over night at Newton Rigg College, on the second day, we spent our time in the Ullswater Valley - basically orienteering around the area. This was something the group found rewarding and they all worked well together. (photo two).

On the morning of the third day of their residential, we drove to Ribblehead to go on an Introductory Caving Session in Long Churns (photo three). Not everyone in the group took to the idea of caving and so it was a shorter session for some group members!

After the caving, we drove down to Ingleton and spent several hours in the afternoon climbing at the Ingleton Wall (photo four). Here, there are climbing ropes in situ and after Iain had taught the group the skills of belaying, they readily got stuck into the task.

You can see by the hilarity taking place in this last photo that the group thought that climbing was a lot of fun. As can be expected with these groups, the concentration & application didn't last too long, but they were responsible and enjoyed a safe session.

We then returned to Newton Rigg for one final night on Campus before the group departed for Dewsbury the next morning. It was Iain's first experience with working with a Prince's Trust Group and although they can sometimes be difficult to work on, he though this group were a bunch of pleasant, ebullient, straight talking characters with whom he got on well. It was a nice bit of freelance work!

We can organise many of the activity sessions mentioned in this Blog post - in fact all of them with the exception of Archery. Our prices for half day activity sessions start at £45 per person and the price decreases as your group size increases. Contact us if you would like to try out any of the activities you see discussed here and we will be happy to arrange your session. We look forward to working with you.

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