Our Trip to Snowdon

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‘Unlocking potential to enable young people to believe & achieve in their capabilities’

After 12 weeks, The BVA Mentoring Team and our young participants have officially completed the programme, we climbed and conquered Mount Snowdon and provided the young people with the opportunity to show adversity and determination to succeed in their goals. Our Aim is to enable the young people to recognise that if they believe in themselves, they can achieve great things.

But let’s go back to the beginning…

The BVA Mentoring Programme is a support service that enables a young individual to feel accepted, valued and respected. The programme is geared around developing the young person as an individual, building up their self esteem, self confidence and harnessing within them an emotional understanding of their world. The aim is to create a blueprint and inner mantra of self belief and self respect that the young person can take forward into their lives. The applicants were between the ages of 13-18 years old and had displayed antisocial behaviour actions or tendencies within the borough. Our hope is that these young people recognise that they can become an individual in their own right as well as a valued contributing member of the community. This project was kindly funded with a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes.

Once the applications were in and the selected nine had been chosen to take part in the programme, the mentoring begun. The mentoring sessions comprised of individual 1-1’s, group sessions and physical trai12932902_1237720569593614_5330774713286492645_nning sessions to support with the final goal of climbing Mount Snowdon. Each session was carefully designed to assist with understanding the emotions and reactions to different antisocial behaviour in different situations. The sessions provided alternative means of reactions, impulses and assisted with the understanding that it’s okay to be angry or upset; these are feelings and are not the definition of antisocial behaviour. We taught the young participants alternative perspectives on anger and how to deal with the feeling when at home, at school/college or at work.

Once these in house sessions were complete the team took to the outdoors, starting with a four mile walk around Basingstoke’s Crabtree Plantation at Black Dam. This was then followed by a gruelling hike up and down Hampshire’s highest peak Beacon Hill a minimum of 4 times.  All of the young people completed the training and proved they were up for the challenge. The final group consisted of eight young people, three members of the Mentoring team and finally two volunteers. On the 5th April 2016 we all jumped in a mini bus and headed to Wales. The Team stayed at Crashpad Lodges an extremely beautiful destination at the foot of Mount Snowdon. The bunkhouse was off grid so the group had no choice but to put down the social media devices and bond over board and card games 🙂

On the 6th April 2016, everyone awoke in good spirits, threw on their backpacks, tied their shoelaces and begun the assent to the summit of Mount Snowdon. The walk to the half way house was somewhat pleasant in compassion to the steep incline past the half way house. Another challenge the team faced was the dramatic drop in temperature, extremely windy conditions including the pitiful attempts of hail. The higher the team climbed the deeper the sense of vertigo set in, this was alongside some members of the group showing signs of fatigue. However challenging the conditions we all knew nothing was going stop the team for reaching the top. You can witness the official moment the team made it to the top, click here:

12401007_1242501339115537_8749626457181681496_nSince the team and young people have returned from Wales, all the young people and those around them have expressed that the Mentoring Programme has provided them with more self belief, increased their self confidence and  provided them with a better understanding of how to react in difficult situations. Some of the young people found a new outlet with the physical aspect of the programme and are continuing to develop this side of their physical well-being. The team also raised £127 for Basingstoke Young Carers, exceeding the initial aim of £100.

The creator of the programme, Vince Parkes said,

“The running of this programme has been exhilarating, we have watched the young people grow and become more aware of their roles and responsibilities to the communities they live in. Our retainment/engagement rate was 90% and all young people achieved a measurable shift in how they felt about themselves”.

Due to the success of this programme the BVA Youth Team are already prepping and planning the next challenge. The same programme with a new aim. We will be recruiting new group of young people who are currently inactive and training them up to eventually be capable of taking part in the Basingstoke Half Marathon on October 2nd 2016.

Watch this space for the details and how to apply 🙂

The Youth Team.

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