Our Outward Bound Trust Course of Spring 2023 was a fantastic success, as our participants and parents share their reflections..
This was my second time going for a five day course with Simple Life Homes, at Outward Bound in Ullswater. Both times have allowed me to stretch my abilities, especially this time around as I took more of a leadership position becoming more connecting with the people in my group. It helped me build confidence, personal strengths and resilience. I am thankful for this opportunity and hope to move into doing the seven day course to expand my strengths even further.
Aleksandra Murzanska (Mum)
I would like to express my gratitude for the job you are doing representing Simple Life. Lucja had another great week, I can read it more from her behaviour than actual words. For Lucja and for us it is really a life changing experience: building confidence and positive way of thinking. With people like you, Alex and Andrew I do not feel a stranger in the UK. I find some features of character and way of being a human which are close to mine.
Additionally, if you need a parent opinion to share I am willing to do so with pleasure. You and the companies you are cooperating with do really good and needed job especially now, in the world when easy, literally artificial image improvements are so popular and common but on the contrary ideas focused of self development achieved by partnership cooperation, team efforts, uncomfortable surroundings and loads of sweat often seem to be unattractive and not fitted to the images sold by mainstream.
Once again Niamh, I am really grateful for your support and help. I do believe that moving to St Helens has been a blessing for us. Many positive changes have become reality since we decided to rent a house from Simple Life.
“I’m not a very active or social person but I wanted to try something new and meet new people. I wasn’t sure how it would be but I took the chance and I don’t regret it. I even became good friends with my wonderful teammates and I actually enjoyed the activities even though they were out of my comfort zone. I can say it’s better to try than just to rule something out because if I hadn’t tried this course I would have missed out on a lot.”
“On the 24th to the 28th of April I got the incredible opportunity to go to Ullswater Lake District with the Outward Bound Trust organisation and sponsored by Simple Life. I made many new friends (who I now speak to after the trip) and experienced some brand new life experiences. There were so many thrilling events such as: jumping in the huge lake of the area, canoeing across the entirety of the huge aforementioned lake, and going on a two day expedition (similar to my bronze DofE) and getting to go away to the snowy mountains for a night.
“Overall, I could not recommend this experience to anyone more, as no matter whether you think you like this sort of outdoorsy stuff or not, or whether you’re worried about making friends or not, I could not recommend it any more!
“I would also like to say thank you so much for providing me with the opportunity for this trip, it has been an amazing and absolutely life changing trip that I don’t think I’ll ever forget!”
“There were lots of high points and here are a few.
“When I first got there I was very anxious. But then I got to know the people on the course and the instructors and we had lots of fun. I’m quite shy and I was proud that I found the confidence to talk to more people without feeling so self-conscious.
“Best activity was the cliff jumping because I like swimming and jumping off stuff. Canoeing was really great too because it challenged me but was still fun. Best memory was when we went hiking at night and we were all playing Uno together and toasted marshmallows in the Bothy. Funniest moment when Jack tried to do a handstand and fell down in the meeting room. Best meal was Mac n cheese. Kindest person to me was Jack as he was the first person to talk to me and Nanette is really supportive and reassured me. Best thing I learnt was how to tie a rope. Best thing I learnt about myself was that I can push myself harder that I thought.
“The new WhatsApp group we have formed since the trip is really good and helps us to keep in touch with each other. I’m looking forward to doing it again as it was really fun and I enjoyed the beautiful surrounding of the Lake District and the mist over Ullswater was kind of cool! Thanks for having me! It was a great experience.”
“My time started off shaky as there was a lot of awkward feelings in the air with meeting people for the first time but then I was easily settled in by the staff with some team building exercises. Once we were all acquainted we were precisely instructed by the staff in what equipment we needed. As a team we linked arms to the jog and dip which was quite cold and nerve racking. A short speedboat trip later and after climbing the rock, we jumped into the lake. After we had finished we were taken care of and warmed up for a nice evening together with some nice food and one last team building exercise.
“On the last day I was sad that we were going to leave as I had a blast but we did one final challenge, which was building a raft! We learned how to create strong safe knots for the raft which was key to our team success. We were dropped off on the other side of the lake, and whilst being closely watched by the brilliant staff we constructed our raft! This independence, belief and trust in us as a group made us feel proud to be who we are. Once we worked together to find our paddling rhythm we set off on our journey back, encouraged all the way by the staff. We had made it back to base and I was exhausted with all the paddling but at least we had done it. Thanks to my new friends and Andy, Alex, and Niamh and other staff I had made it throughout the week feeling more confident and comfortable in my ability. It was really sad to leave this fun, free place but we were sent off with a brilliant speech and our group are hoping to comeback in the summer to go again.”
“A 5 day adventure with Outward Bound was a great idea from the start, but it completely blew my mind how great it was when it all finished – I instantly wanted to go back.
“Making new friends and many memories was the best part of it. It was crazy to think that on the Monday it was extremely awkward but then by the Friday we were all not wanting to leave, planning to try and get in a group together again!
“Overall I had such an amazing time, discovering new things about myself and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I would do it again in a heartbeat! It left me feeling I could achieve more and I had so much more potential than I thought. New bonds were created and old ones were strengthened, it was amazing!”
“The time I spent with my team was some of the most fun I’ve had in years. It really helped me get past some old stress and get to know some amazing people, who I’m still in contact with. I’d definitely recommend the week for anyone looking to expand your horizons and hope you have as much fun with it as I did. Pushing boundaries with their amazing staff has got me in a healthy state of mind for my coming exams and I’m sure it can help others too.”
“I went to Outward Bound, Ullswater, not knowing anyone, or being a very active person. I have now got many new friends and had a great experience whilst being supported by team leaders. The activities were challenging but the encouragement I got from everyone made me have a great stay, and leave with amazing memories. Thank you.”
“I found the five day adventure really enjoyable and tested some of my abilities making me feel accomplished at the end of each day. It really built on my teamwork and helped me bond with people I had never spoken to which felt pretty rewarding to me.”
Michelle, one of the participant’s parents, commented:
“As a single parent with no financial support from Philippa’s father the opportunity to go on a funded experience like the one she did was fantastic she got a lot out of it and her confidence grows whilst on these adventures – she was bouncing for days after coming home.”
Nicola, one of the participant’s parents, commented:
“I was really pleased with the course; Isabel had a fantastic time, even came home with a smile engraved on her face. The stories she has been telling me are fantastic! Sounds like she was really challenged and pushed out of her comfort zone, all the while, having the most amazing time. Listening to her talk now (a few weeks on), this experience has really helped her come out of shell and she now seems empowered to deal with everyday situations more positively. Thank you for giving her this opportunity!”