Building team at Lambourne End
A team from our Waltham Forest branch took a group of nine young people from our Priory Court Youth Club to the Lambourne End Activity Centre in Essex. The aim of the weekend was to offer them a residential experience which would help them to build self-esteem, confidence and resilience; help them to build positive relationships with others; and provide opportunities for them to learn new skills and try new activities.
The group included several who were in great need of a holiday and a break from their normal day to day lives. Several have ongoing struggles at home or school and for most it was the only holiday they will have this year. They stayed in the dorm rooms and had a jam-packed weekend of orienteering, raft building, zip wire, archery and a camp fire.
The theme for the weekend was "team work" and the young people worked on this throughout the programme. They didn't all know everyone else, so there were inevitably some tricky moments, but did they really well at introducing themselves, bonded well as a group and encouraged each other when the going got tough!
Despite the rain, the young people got stuck in to the orienteering session. We split into teams and the young people took it in turns doing the map reading and leading the group.
The zip wire was the most popular. A number of young people were nervous about taking part, but were proud of themselves for facing the challenge. One young person particularly pushed herself in the activities. The others could see this and were really encouraging her to keep going and help her achieve the tasks.
Three of the young people collected firewood and helped build a small fire in the fire pit on the Saturday evening. They enjoyed sitting around the camp fire and eating the marshmallows and ice cream we had for them.
All of the young people gained a sense of achievement for tackling new things and developed new confidence and team work skills.
"These sort of trips always really accelerate the relationships that the young people have with the staff and allow for more time to chat about things that wouldn’t normally come up in our youth club setting. This was a really fun and positive weekend for young people and staff alike. Some of the young people have been hounding us since we got back to do another one - and to do it for longer - as they enjoyed it so much!"
Dave Parish, Senior Youth Worker
Running residentials is one of many ways that the Waltham Forest team work with young people to identify and overcome the barriers in their lives and to develop the skills that will enable them to successfully navigate the demands of set their adult lives. It is a privilege to be a part of that journey.
This residential was generously funded by Clarion Housing. We are grateful for their support.