Homeless young people who are now living at the YMCA charity in Goole are set to benefit from a new outdoor education programme, thanks to a generous grant from The National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ scheme.
The grant has been awarded to YMCA Goole to support young people who are living at the charity’s supported housing service on Edinburgh Street in Goole. It is designed to bring together the charity’s core mission of promoting youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
This funding will empower the YMCA to run two seven-week programmes from April 2020 to help at-risk young people (aged 16-35) to access physical outdoor activities that will boost their health and wellbeing whilst improving their life skills.
Participants will have an opportunity to try a range of activities at Hatfield Outdoor Activity Centre, in Yorkshire, which includes land and water-based activities such as canoeing, kayaking, sailing and climbing. At the end of the programme, the charity team will take the residents who complete the project on a residential trip to the Peak District.
Following the success of a similar initiative delivered last year, this project was developed around results from a focus group whereby residents identified the benefits of outdoor activities improving skills such as communication and listening, team working and improved confidence.
“Our goal is to empower vulnerable young people to believe in their own potential and abilities by giving them opportunities to develop transferable life-skills alongside their peers,” explained Giles Conlon, Housing Development Manager at YMCA Goole.
“We understand the importance of our residents forming strong friendships with each other and community, something with which they often struggle due to complex childhood experiences.
“The vital life-skills developed through the programme can then be applied to residents’ everyday lives and will form the basis of their first steps towards positive social re-engagement.”
Following the project, the YMCA will use participant feedback to develop other programmes to engage different types of disadvantaged young people in Goole.