Hear about our most recent trip with the Outward Bound Trust as; ESG Directior Niamh reflects on her own experience
“April 2022 saw our first Building for My Future course, with our Outward Bound Trust friends, at Ullswater. The lessons and skills learned, and the time facilitated for reflection and evaluation, was so rewarding. We welcomed old friends back and made new friends. We all need that time and space to stop, be, step back, challenge and think! Achieving this and so very much more on our first course, I did wonder if we could ever repeat such a truly amazing experience, after all firsts are memorable for so many reasons.
“Wonderful then to report that our second trip was equally brilliant. Arriving for our second course, in October 2022, I was excited, but then concerned as some who had signed up and committed pulled out at the last minute. A real shame but our new and now smaller group were determined this would not impact our experience or adventure negatively. We were a small group with big hearts and vision. We were determined to have an adventure to remember. And boy did we!
“New challenges, new friends, new skills and a genuine and honest sharing of hopes, fears and dreams, meant this week was simply incredible. Another group of inspiring young people, reassuring me that the future looks very bright!
“I can say with my hand on my heart that getting to know these amazing five young people was a privilege. We certainly shared a lot and supported one anther in ways that will stay with us forever.
“The weather was certainly determined to play its part! It rained and rained, and the wind blew – but everyone dug deep, smiled and saw the challenge as positive and rewarding, embracing everything that was thrown at us! And boy were we challenged! Our climb to Helvellyn was curtailed as winds of 65mph tried to upend us! Safety had to come first. We battled through waterfalls, clambered over rocks, crawled and slid up and down the hillside. The group showed true spirit and positive mindset. I have never been with a group with such positivity, determination, and happiness – absolutely no moans or grumbles! Amazing! We had not booked a bothy with “en suite shower and natural air con”, but we laughed as mother nature was determined we would have this!!! New card games learned, questionable ‘poker faces’ and jokes, mice shared our overnight base, and we gave up trying to keep dry as there was no point! We impressed our instructors and challenged them to keep us challenged! We shared a 16th birthday, and debated who would carry the poop tube, and discussed trench foot!! We leapt off rocks, overcame fears, rowed with varying degrees of accuracy and success, and all with smiles and supporting one another.
“It was a real pleasure being a part of this group. I cannot thank them all enough for their enthusiasm, energy and positivity. In a world where it is easy to opt out and sit back, they demonstrated the power of teamwork and togetherness. We slipped and fell, and got back up again. We showed what can be achieved when we all lead together with a shared goal in mind. We pushed ourselves beyond our comfort zones, we shivered, we went the extra mile, and we shared tears of joy at fears overcome and goals achieved. We learned more about ourselves that week than we could ever have thought possible.
“I am sure we all took invaluable memories and lessons back home with us, and after a long warm bath and good sleep, we shared stories with family and friends. We know we can overcome challenge, we are wonderful leaders and team players, we can support those around us, we are resilient, we can share our vulnerabilities and grow in strength. Lessons and skills we can transfer to daily life activities and experiences. Such experiences are invaluable, and importantly something to which we should avoid trying to attribute financial value. Achievements to treasure and value as we grow and move through life.
“Reflections for those in the group and others connected illustrate to enormous benefit to us from such experiences. We look forward to receiving applications for our next course in April 2023, in due course.”