In the news: Students ready to explore having a wild time

By External media source,
press release

Article in The Cumberland NewsArticle in Whitehaven News

Students at The Whitehaven Academy had a wild time getting a taste for overseas adventure.

The school linked up with British Exploring Society for a workshop that introduces young people to the idea of striking out on an adventure and developing key life skills.

The youth development charity, which this year celebrates its 90th birthday, specialises in leading expeditions to some of the wildest and most remote destinations in the world, including the Namibian desert, Indian Himalayas and Amazon rainforest.

The charity organises annual expeditions in the Scottish Highlands for 14 to 17-year-olds and overseas for 16 to 25-year-olds. A team of explorers ran the workshop with Year 9 students, introducing them to what they could expect on an expedition.

Holly Burns, Senior Recruitment and Engagement Co-ordinator, said: “The idea behind the workshop is instead of us going to schools and talking in an assembly, we want to give young people more of an interactive experience where they can get a handle on what it’s like to go on expedition.

“They go through the journey, they learn more about the location, we talk about preparation and kit and give them a video of basecamp. And then we throw difference scenarios at them that they might experience while exploring in the rainforest.”

The charity’s aim is to weave in personal development through being part of a group expedition. Some of the outcomes are increased self-reliance, greater problem-solving and decision-making skills and improved confidence. There’s also a big emphasis on protecting the environment.

The hope is that some students will now want to join a Scottish expedition either this or next summer. The charity’s donors subsidise the cost of the expeditions, with young people set a fund-raising target to show their commitment.

Holly added: “Young people get so much from this. They are learning key skills for life and can always say to people, future employers or colleges for example, that they’ve been on expedition in a wilderness area and built all these skills.

“The students at Whitehaven were really engaged. Straight away we had one student who, when I asked if anyone had any questions, said ‘how can I sign up?’

Headteacher Nigel Youngman said: “We are incredibly grateful to the charity for coming in and opening up these possibilities for students. It’s the kind of relationship we are extremely keen on

developing as it gives our young people amazing opportunities to grow and experience life. The programme embraces our philosophy here at Whitehaven of wanting to empower young people and enable them to explore the outdoors.”

The academy is part of Cumbria Education Trust which is responsible for 11 academies in the county, including secondaries William Howard School in Brampton and Workington Academy.


Press release written on behalf of The Whitehaven Academy and Cumbria Education Trust by Helliwell Media.