19 July 2023
In February 2023, UK Youth, in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, launched the £600k Adventures Away from Home Bursary fund for outdoor learning providers to work with disadvantaged young people in England.
The fund offered fully funded places for disadvantaged young people aged 11-18, opportunities to engage in outdoor learning experiences that positively affect key areas of development through connections with others and nature.
We worked with 45 Outdoor Learning Providers, enabling over 3,500 disadvantaged young people to engage in outdoor learning experiences across England. In total, we distributed £564,000 towards day trips and residential sessions.
Every young person received a bursary to attend their session and were provided with additional assistance to overcome any accessibility barriers they may have faced.
We have reviewed the feedback received from the Outdoor Learning providers and produced an evaluation report detailing the outcomes and highlights.
Based on responses from the outdoor learning providers and youth group leader observation surveys, as well as young people through their most significant change stories, the fund has shown to deliver positive outcomes in terms of increasing access to valuable outdoor learning for young people with significant access needs and facing inclusion barriers.
This has included improving their skills for life and work through building confidence and improving their mental well-being.
Here are some highlights from our project:
David Watts, Director of Outdoor Learning, commented: “AAfH illustrates collaboration between the Youth and Outdoor Learning Sectors and demonstrates a clear appetite for future multi centre funded programmes.
“Its success exceeded expectations, therefore there is but one conclusion, young people should have more funded Adventures Away from Home as they ‘Make a Real Positive Difference’ to young people.”
In the face of the current economic climate, together with the lingering effects of the pandemic and challenges such as a youth mental health crisis, UK Youth believes that outdoor learning can play a vital role in supporting a young person to develop by offering opportunities to experience, learn and develop in the great outdoors.
The outdoor environment is an essential tool to support a young person’s personal, social, and educational development, improve health, wellbeing and environmental awareness.
We would like to thank the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport for funding the UK Youth Fund Adventures Away from Home. The project made a real positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.
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