Wiltshire Publications

Charity inspires a new sense of adventure for young Wiltshire people

A youth charity set up by polar explorers David Hempleman-Adams and Major Richard Mitchell, that helps vulnerable young people learn new skills and gain confidence, was officially re-launched at an event in Brokerswood Country Park, Westbury, on Saturday 14th June.

The Youth Adventure Trust helps vulnerable young people from across Wiltshire, aged between 11-14, to fulfil their potential and make a positive contribution to society.  Using the outdoor environment, the young people are able to overcome challenges by increasing their aspirations, self-esteem, self-confidence and resilience.

Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes constituency, officially launched the Youth Adventure Trust. She said, “When I met Mark and Jon from the Youth Adventure Trust 18 months ago, I said that this is the best charity I’d never heard of! I  am proud to support this organisation and to help it become one of the best known charities in Wiltshire.”

The Youth Adventure Trust programme is provided completely free of charge to all young people in Wiltshire who take part. It relies on a team of over 180 volunteers from across the county and from a variety of backgrounds, who come together to act as positive role models and to share their expertise and passion for improving the lives of young people at risk in Wiltshire.

Claire Perrry joined other guests, including councillors David Renard and Richard Gamble, in taking part in some of the outdoor activities with  the young people who have just finished the three-year programme with the Youth Adventure Trust.

Charity founder, David Hempleman-Adams, currently on expedition in the Arctic explained, “Our commitment to the outdoor environment is a key factor in helping young people to discover their true potential, and since 1992 we have helped 3,600 young people across Wiltshire and Swindon who would otherwise be denied such an opportunity. Our next step is to reach more young people, but in order to do that we need to raise more money and bring on board more volunteers.”

Chair of the Youth Adventure Trust, Jon Scourse said, “Young people come to us from a variety of backgrounds. Many are young carers or children from single-parent families with often chaotic and unstable home lives.

“Growing up in such environments puts children at severe disadvantage over their peers, so the Youth Adventure Trust sets out to provide a unique opportunity for these young people to learn new skills and gain in confidence in a new and different context.”

Mark Davey, YAT director added, “We rely entirely on voluntary funding and volunteers to deliver our programme and we are looking for support from the people of Wiltshire to help further raise our profile within the region, so that it can reach more vulnerable young people.”

Local 14-year-old, Megan, completed the final Youth Adventure Trust programme last year. She said, “I overcame lots of my fears. One of my fears was making new friends, but I made friends with people who were just like me and we had fun. After going to every event over three years I was really sorry when it ended – I had begun to look forward to them so much, but now I can do so many more things.”

Local and regional business leaders, school heads, local councils and other high profile individuals also attended the event to learn more about the work of the Youth Adventure Trust, and to experience some of the outdoor activities that the young people enjoy such as canoeing, tree climbing and archery.

To find out more see www.youthadventuretrust.org.uk