Tuesday 17 November 2015

Prince's Trust Residentials, October 6th - 9th 2015.

Between October 6th & 9th, Iain worked for Prince's Trust Pontefract with one of their residential groups consisting of twelve people - support workers; and young people considered "at risk".

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.

On this occasion, we stayed in the Yorkshire Dales National Park at a fantastic bunkhouse called Skirfare Bridge Barn (photo two) in Wharfedale.

Activities during this residential commenced with our meeting at Harrogate Climbing Centre where we spent the afternoon having a go at the challenge of indoor climbing which involved getting members of the group to work together to safeguard and support each other. After this, we headed for Skirfare Bridge Barn for an Archery Session before settling into the bunkhouse for the night.

The next day would find us up and off (not so early!) to spend  a day hiking around the Malham  Area (photos three & four).

Our circular walk on this day would take us from the car park at Malham to the spectacular waterfall Janet's Foss seen in photo three and then on to the equally spectacular gorge  of Gordale Scar. Later, we would cross over the fell to visit the spectacular limestone cliffs of Malham Cove (photo four) before  dropping down the far side of the cove to walk back out to Malham Village where everyone enjoyed  fare  as diverse as Bacon Butties and Cream Teas at The Old Barn Cafe before we headed back to Wharfedale.

The day had started out rather wet and this dampened the groups enthusiasm somewhat for the activity. However, the weather did improve throughout the day and everyone took part in route finding and learning to read the map. It would turn out to be a rewarding day out for all concerned!

The second full day of the groups residential saw us taking a fairly long drive to get to Brimham Rocks.

Brimham rocks is quite unique and consists of a Grit-stone outcrop found within a wood on top of a ridge. Brimham is a great place for introductory Rock Climbing sessions outdoors and also for scrambling - up, around & through the boulders and outcrops. Photo five sees the group posing for a photo at Brimham towards the end of another rewarding activity session in which they had all worked very well together.

We finished the scrambling session and then drove again to the head of Nidderdale. After lunch, the group were equipped with caving over-suits, wellingtons, caving belts and helmets with lights in preparation for an underground caving session in Manchester Hole.

Fortunately, after the wet weather the previous day, the water levels had dropped and we were able to go quite a long way into this system which takes the flow of the River Nidd running through the valley. An advanced team continued with one instructor all the way  to the sump, whilst Iain and another Cave Leader turned back with the less enthusiastic group. They had still done well though!

The final photo from this post about working with The Prince's Trust sees the group having just enjoyed their final evening meal at Skirfare Bridge Barn. The next morning would see us all depart around 10am, the group heading back the Pontefract; and Iain, back to The Lake District.

We offer all of the activities undertaken  with this group here in The Lake District - Indoor & Outdoor Introductory Climbing, Guided Walking, scrambling  and Introductory Caving Sessions. Our prices start at £45 per person for a half day (4 hours session) with all specialist equipment provided as part of your fee. Contact us here to book your outdoor activity session, we look forward to working with you!

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