Confidence, self-belief, resilience, teamwork, and power to overcome… these are the qualities displayed by our care experienced young people during a recent trip to Beaumanor Hall. The trip was part of our Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Leaving Care funding stream’s Voices project, a project designed to support care experienced young people to reduce isolation, transition into independence and giving them a voice to make change to the systems and decision makers in their lives.
It was refreshing and inspiring to have a day with our young people who really pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, which was exactly why the trip was arranged. Challenge themselves, over come fears and to get them believing in themselves.
The day started with a team building exercise where the young people had to build buggies out of barrels, planks of wood and rope. It was great to see these young people working together, sharing ideas and adapting to changes. It became evident that some of the young people had skills they never knew they had such as problem solving and leadership skills. This was particularly true of Casey who lacks confidence and struggles with group work.
6 wooden beams and some rope…… now make a free-standing structure that can support the weight of 4 people. This was the challenge and both teams shared ideas and used trial and error to complete the task with flying colours.
The next team task would require the young people to work together and to evoke their problem solving ‘powers’. This challenge was a little more difficult due to there being more than one way to complete the challenge and this was recognised by the young people. Through collaborative thinking and working together they were able to successfully complete the task. The task was to get all team members across the stepping stones only using wood to cross the stones and reach the other side without touching the ground.
It is important to push and challenge yourself when you are care experienced. Lots of people think because you’ve been in care you can’t do things.
The power we get from each other means we can do anything – Like taking on the high ropes.
Your group becomes your back up and a source of inspiration and strength.
It’s very important bringing care experienced young people together. No one else understands where we come from, so speaking to people who have been through what you have is very important.Care experienced young person
After the team challenges, we were taken to the zipline and aerial obstacle course. This is where the young people challenged themselves and had to dig deep to find courage and overcome fears. It was through these challenges and activities that out young people showed their ability to overcome, tackle a problem head-on and rise to a challenge that truly put the young people out of their comfort zone. But what was more inspiring was the support the young people showed to each other! Everyone encouraged each other and supported one another to overcome fears, anxiety, and panic.
Our work with care experienced young people
- Find out about the work we do with care experienced young people: mental wellbeing, employment and training, campaigning for Care Leavers rights, building social connection.
- Sign our Promise to Care
- Hear the voices of care experienced young people in our Podcasts
- Taking Hold of Our Heritage project. Get a digital download of the book
- Become a mentor to a care experienced young person
For more information about our work with care experienced young people, please contact Jacob Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to Esmee Fairbairn for their support.