F4YP Seniors Residential
When I think of camping, I imagine songs around the campfire, toasted marshmallows, the sound of gentle rain on canvas. For many of the young people who are supported by our F4YP project the countryside can be an unknown landscape, the idea of sleeping out under the stars, walking across a campsite to use the toilet, not to mention the lack of phone signal and Wi-Fi, is a scary thought.
However, thanks to a grant from the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s Panacea fund, we were able to take a group of sixteen 11-15 year olds out of their comfort zones and give them some wonderful experiences and show them the great outdoors!
The first day was spent travelling to Hartington YHA in the Peak District. On arrival the excited group unpacked and set off on an 8 mile walk, discovering natural caves, river banks and general wildlife. Then it was back to the warm and dry YHA for a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep.
The next day the group embraced the outdoor life more by moving to a campsite, which would be our base for the next 2 days. The morning was spent tapping into the skills required to set up tents before splashing the afternoon away paddling a staircase canal of locks and over an aqueduct, finishing up with a scrummy hot chocolate and bowl of chips.
The rest of the trip was spent lost in the thrill of paddling fast moving waters and rapids, crawling through old mining caves and facing all sorts of challenges head on. Each day bringing a new experience, spending 4 days in complete countryside with limited facilities, for some, just the walk on day 1 was an experience in itself, coming face to face with farm animals and the general outdoors!
“This trip was fantastic for all involved” said Sophie Stock F4YP Activities Co-ordinator.
“I particularly enjoyed being part of their first experience of caving, there were some really tight spaces to get into and discover, with trust and self confidence playing a huge role. Teamwork was a key skill needed in all the activities, and it was great to see our Young People getting stuck in and completing new things, even the camp ‘chores’. Everyone helped out and got along, with some surprises of talented washer uppers!
‘It was a real pleasure to be on the trip, I learnt so much about each child, as they too learnt and gained so much from it.’ - Deborah Palmer (Staff member)
“Looks fun. Thank you so much Sophie for arranging this and looking after the Young People. What a great cause F4YP is’ - Parent of attending Young Person.
‘Looks great fun. Loads of washing up when S gets back, lol’ - Parent of attending Young Person.
Funded by the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s Panacea fund