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Project information

A Way with Nature

The aim is to give a group of young people from low-income families in London a chance to experience nature. The trip is designed to promote self-esteem, independence & self-reliance in a new environment, whilst experiencing new outdoor activities with their peers.

August 2019 - August 2019

Charity information: US Charitable Trust

US Charitable Trust logo
  • Need

    Need

    Many of these young people are from lower-income households & do not have experiences outside of London, or even their immediate neighbourhoods. Some members are deemed ‘at-risk’, but all experience considerable stress in daily lives. This has huge effect on self-esteem, confidence & communication, factors which affect social relationships, educational attainment & future prospects. Many of the young people have not had the have opportunity to just be children & experience nature.

    Solution

    The trip allows the young people an enjoyable experience they would not otherwise have. A chance to escape stresses of daily lives & connect with their peers in a different setting, allowing for a deeper engagement with each other. Activities they undertake are specifically designed to allow for improved team-building, soft-skill development & problem-solving, opportunities to develop both independence & trust in one another.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Social inclusion & affordability


    Activities

    » Take 30 inner-city kids to the countryside & provide activities & care for 3 days, an opportunity to connect with nature they'd not otherwise have.

    What success will look like

    Monitor guidance & behaviour, students reporting the creation of memorable experiences & an opportunity to de-stress.


    Aim 2

    To improve inter-personal life skills: communication, confidence, self-reliance, motivation


    Activities

    » Student led activities: Art workshop, yoga/mindfulness, nature connection.

    What success will look like

    Embedding students back into school with new skills and confidence.


    Aim 3

    To enhance team-building, problem solving & develop trust & respect for one another.


    Activities

    » Series of team-building activities such as den & fire building, wild swimming & orienteering.

    What success will look like

    Student's accountability & responsibility, creating a sense of community, student & staff evaluation & assessment before & after trip & focus groups during the trip.


    Aim 4

    To undertake healthy outdoors physical activities.


    Activities

    » Plenty of outdoor time & walks in nature. Swimming, volleyball, skateboarding.

    What success will look like

    Full participation of the students on the arranged activities.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Time spent in nature is proven to reduce stress, helps rejuvenate the lungs, encourages physical activity and builds a sense of self-reliance. This course will help them to learn & establish positive behaviours as they grow up, many of which are transferable back in city life. Full evaluation would be undertaken to assess the impact of the trip by interviews & questionnaire with the young people & staff before & after.

    Risk

    Given the trip is fully funded for the children, & there are limited holiday activities in the borough, we don’t anticipate drop-outs from the young people.
    A full risk-assessment has been done of the proposed venue who also comply with all recent safeguarding procedures.
    Weather in a UK summer can be an issue, but there is a large barn on site for indoor games should we be unlucky.

    Reporting

    Using our established system of evaluation, involving interviews & questionnaires before & after the trip, & photos to document the trip, we would compile a full report for both funders & families involved.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,280

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,620 Accomodation Beds for 15 students & 3 staff x 2
      £2,160 Food 3 meals per day staff & students.
      £540 Travel Return train tickets
      £800 Workshops 2 per trip (Art, storytelling etc)
      £160 Yoga 2 sessions per trip
  • Background

    Location

    The young people participating in this trip are from Harlesden, Brent. Many are from low-income families, some deemed ‘at-risk’. Brent has some of the highest levels of child poverty in the UK & recently increasing youth violence, particularly knife crime.
    Many of our students are on free school meals & higher than average number have special educational or behavioural needs, & high number ESOL.

    Beneficiaries

    There would be 2 groups, each going away for 3 nights. The students are from Newman Catholic College (boys school) in Brent. The 1st group is aged between 11-16 & the 2nd group aged between 16-18. All the boys are deemed disadvantaged, economically.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    US has been working in Brent since 2012 and has a close relationship with the young people, through 6 years of running successful after-school & holiday programmes. We work closely with Newman Catholic College, Young Brent Foundation, London Youth & The Princes Trust to make sure our young people have all the support & resources they need to reach their full potential.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Serena Balfour

    Chair - Manages US on a daily basis & knows all of the young people very well. She works within educational & charitable sectors.

    Justin Marosa

    Trustee - Professional Actor & Public Speaking Coach, Justin runs a number of social inclusion projects through theatre and film.