Action4Youth News – January 2024

Kicking Off 2024 with a bang (well, more like a klaxon!)

We’ve started the year on a high note with fantastic energy and enthusiasm at our Big Challenge Lunch. We hosted four Buckinghamshire schools and four Milton Keynes schools who battled against each other to complete a series of challenges, at The Ridgeway Centre in Wolverton. The winning school, Sir Thomas Fremantle, was awarded The Ultimate Challenge Leading School Cup and £1000 by Daniel Mullins of Ringway (cup sponsor). Martin Tett, Buckinghamshire Council Leader, was awarded The Ultimate Challenge Cup by Nathan Kennard of Unity Place (cup sponsor). Well done to all the schools that took part and especially the winners on the day.

Thank you to main sponsor NHBC (Paul Hosking, CFO, seen above), as well as Ringway, Unity Place and centre:mk who each sponsored an award.
“It was amazing and thank you so much for inviting us…I loved the vibe and the energy of the event – it was outstanding, and the students really enjoyed it. They are asking when are we going again! Laurie Markatos, St Paul’s Academy, Milton Keynes.

Daniel Mullins, Ringway presenting The Ultimate Challenge Leading School Cup to Sir Thomas Fremantle students above.

Ken Birkby presenting Sophie Bannerman her award for Outstanding Achievement and a £100 cheque prize (above).

Martin Tett receiving the cup for Buckinghamshire Council (above).

Angelique Marina from Sir Thomas Fremantle school won an award for Exceptional Leadership on the day, presented by Kim Priest of centre:mk (seen above).

The event was followed by a seated lunch for guests who were able to hear from local sports personality, James Hildreth, seen below speaking about his cricketing years. Trustee, Alastair Douglas, delivered an update on our capital appeal to radically transform our outdoor centre, The Caldecotte Xperience. Keep your eyes out for a ‘smashing’ update on this in the coming months!

Celebrating A Great 2023!

We shared some of our wonderful experiences across last year in a round-up of 2023, the finale being the HAF Christmas pantomime. Two groups of young people and their families got to enjoy a fun-filled show in either Aylesbury or High Wycombe followed by a delicious Christmas meal with all the trimmings and evening entertainment.

The experience left a lasting impact, as expressed by G and Arianna: “The entire experience was quite magical. Thank you and your team who were all exponentially amazing. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year ahead.”

Grant Success!

The Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund, has helped to support vital work at The Junction youth centre in High Wycombe. The Junction is open every day providing a safe warm space, services such as mentoring and counselling, fitness and wellbeing sessions and recreational activities to support the local youth population. Thanks to the Government for making this possible.

We have also been awarded £16,137.50 from the UK Youth/DCMS Adventures Away from Home fund to support residentials and day visits to Caldecotte for disadvantaged young people. Thank you!

Mentoring young people involves a supportive and guidance-oriented relationship between a young person and mentor. Our mentors, Holly and Philmore work with young people to provide invaluable support to aid their personal development. We are lucky to be able to offer this service and a range of experiences to nurture young people (one young mentee seen below, dog walking).

We thank Tesco and their specific area grants that have supported this service – Mentoring for Children/Young People in Buckingham, Princes Risborough, Amersham and Gerrards Cross.

Things You May Have Missed…

Budding agriculturists from Sir Herbert Leon school (seen above) enjoyed a trip to Woad farm, Milton Keynes as part of the mental health and wellbeing and community and environment pillar of their Inspiration Programme journey. The group learnt how cows are milked and about all the animals on the farm with one year 8 pupil exclaiming “I loved it Miss, thank you. I learnt so much I didn’t know about farming.”

Stony Dean also ventured to Road Farm, Great Missenden as part of their Inspiration Programme. Wendy from the farm, shared “It was great to meet you on Friday and we just wanted to thank you for bringing such a fine group of young people to visit, they were excellent and we are very grateful for their volunteering in the afternoon. Their help with our supplementary wild bird feeding, poop scooping in the field, feeding animals and filling ruts in the lower orchard with soil to make a more level pathway, will all impact our community very positively.”

Girls from Alfriston school, Alfriston (pictured above), tested their inner adventurer at The Caldecotte Xperience this winter.

“We have some amazing girls in our school. All of them have talents, all have special abilities.”

The girls took part in climbing and water sports and raft building, helping to develop their team working and confidence skills.
We look forward to sharing more inspirational trips and feedback with you as we delve into 2024.

Xperience Breaks With Evening Entertainment

Our Xciting winter offers are still available at The Caldecotte Xperience…ideal for groups and school residentials; young people can join us and stay for a weekend or save on mid-week stays too. Adventure awaits with outdoor activities and can include a stay in our fantastic yurts – unleash their inner glamper!

We currently have three Xperience offers available to schools and groups that can include a yurt stay. Alternatively you can book a yurt stay package to suit you or your group.

Xtremely Good Fun In 2024!

Ready for a challenge this New Year? The Caldecotte Xtreme Challenge promises fun and something a little different. Participants take part in teams of 4 – 6 people and will navigate a thrilling obstacle course across land and water. Designed to build teamwork, the course provides exhilarating challenges from climbing, abseiling, caving, striking arrows, canoeing, running, and wading.

By taking part, teams will be helping create life-enhancing experiences for all young people, especially for those with disabilities and complex needs. Suitable for corporate teams, groups and families aged 8+.

Supporting Young People With Counselling

We offer counselling at The Junction, our youth centre in High Wycombe. The counselling services are conducted in a safe and confidential environment for young people to share their feelings in a friendly atmosphere without feeling judged.

Asma* shares her experience. She has been using our service for over a month now and attends her sessions on a weekly basis. She is finding counselling a safe place to discuss her concerns and stated the below:

“It is good having someone to talk to, someone you can trust, and someone to check up on you. Having someone who understands things that others may not, and just being able to say things without thinking that you have to explain.”

*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality

If you would like further information about counselling at The Junction, please email: [email protected]

Faces of Action4Youth

Our first #A4Yface of 2024 is our wonderful Inspiration Programme Lead, Tracy Palmer. Tracy explains the programme above.

Benefits for our young people include;
✨72% increased confidence
✨93% increase aspiration
✨79% increased learning and communication*
*Based on results from attendees across 2023.

Thank you to Stoke Park who generously funded an app allowing schools to be able to deliver the Inspiration Programme to their students. The school gets training and support alongside all teaching materials for the programme. This generosity means we can reach more groups and promote aspiration to more young people within schools.

We are so excited to announce that we are finalists in the #MKBAA2024 awards in the Charity of the Year category – sponsored by MK Community Foundation. We have our toes and fingers crossed!

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