Sunday 28 May 2017

Prince's Trust Residentials in The Yorkshire Dales. May 16th - 19th 2017.

Almost two weeks ago, Iain was working for our friends at Mountain Explorers working as outdoor activities leader for a group of young people from Doncaster who had come away from home for a four day residential experience in the outdoors.

All have recently signed up to The Princes Trust Scheme which is designed to get young people aged 13 - 30 get into jobs, education and training. All of these young people have signed up to the Team programme - a 12 week scheme designed to get them into employment or enrolled on a  college course within three months.

A lot of people attending Prince's Trust courses come from difficult backgrounds that may have involved drug taking and abuse of some sort. Most suffer from low morale and self esteem and many may have been in trouble with the law. The good thing is that they were all here because they want to improve their lives and get to a "better place". This willingness to change their lives is a very good start!

The residential is part of the team programme and takes places early on on the course - in fact this group had only all gotten together for the very first time the previous week.

When Iain met the group, their residential experience would start with an indoor climbing session at the Harrogate Climbing Centre. After a very enthusiastic session we headed to our accommodation for the duration - Skirfare Bridge Barn in Wharfedale - where we would be based for the next three nights.

That evening would see us take a stroll along by the River Wharfe after supper (photo one) and then the next morning we walked the length of the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk. In photo two, the group can be seen under the overhang next to Thornton Force.

The residential experience is all about reacting to challenge; and working together as a team to support and encourage each other. For many, walking along a 3 mile dirt path during the waterfalls walk may well have been more than they'd ever walked in a day before; and what was coming next would be even more challenging!

Photo three sees the group all "booted & suited up" and ready to go caving. Caving is great fun and you'll get to see some amazing features underground. Caving is quite strenuous and challenging - especially as you may have to crawl or squeeze through some tight spaces - you don't have to though; as it's meant to be fun. Following some initial reluctance from a few team members to take part, all eleven went underground and had a great time!

Following the caving session, we returned over the moors to Skirfare Bridge to get showered and cleaned up before eating and then nipping into Skipton to buy a few supplies.

As part of the residential, the group are expected to work together to cook & prepare evening meals for each other and tidy up afterwards.

After this we went for a night walk and campfire near Kettlewell (photo four) which was intended as an opportunity for all group members to open up as to where they had come from in their lives, the problems they had faced; and what they wanted to achieve in the future. This was an emotional experience for some and a powerful experience for all in the group.

On the second; and final full day of this Prince's Trust Residential in The Yorkshire Dales, the group spent the morning trying their hand at Archery (photo five) in the grounds at Skirfare Bridge. George (dressed in grey) is about to fire an arrow hopefully into the centre of the left hand target.

At the time of this photo George was homeless - not that you'd know, he was such a keen a cheerful chap. Two weeks later, James, the Prince's Trust Group Leader, had found George both a home and a job!
The final photo from this post about a Prince's Trust Residential in The Yorkshire Dales sees the group later that afternoon at Brimham Rocks following a great rock scrambling session.

Brimham is famous for it's rock formations - great clusters of grit-stone monoliths rising out of the woodland. These rock formations have be en weathered by wind and rain; and in more recent times, by people scrambling up and down them.

We spent the whole afternoon at Brimham climbing up and down the rocks, squeezing through tight gaps and tunnels with everyone working together helping & supporting each other. It was a good afternoon.

After a further final night at Skirfare Bridge Barn, the group departed on Friday morning back to Doncaster. We would like to wish them all the best with their futures.

If you are interested in trying out any of the activities mentioned in this post - Guided Walking, Caving, Scrambling or Rock Climbing then contact us at Kendal Mountaineering Services here. We offer all of these activities both here in The Lake District and in The Yorkshire Dales. Caving is done exclusively in The Yorkshire Dales. All activities are great fun and prices start at just £45 per person for a half day (four hour) session. Discounts are applied for children under 16. We look forward to working with you!

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