Action4Youth News November 2023

Action4Youth is here for all young people, making a real difference to their futures. With a variety of programmes, we’re here as a vital safety net, a springboard toward realising dreams as well as a voice from and for the young.

As we head speedily towards the end of 2023, we celebrate another month of jam-packed activity and the strides we have taken in fundraising, our programmes and our team development. Our theme for November and really for the year as a whole, as we tackle the significant appeal target to improve the facilities at our outdoor education centre, is to ‘champion accessibility for all‘.

A group of refugees aged 11-18 (pictured above) who have escaped wars in Ukraine and Afghanistan, joined us at The Caldecotte Xperience to have a day of fun and outdoor learning. Clare Brown, Refugee Welfare Manager commented “We decided to bring a group of young refugees to experience a fun day of outdoor activities after everything they have faced over the last few years.”

We could not take the bounds in the right direction without our funders – this month we thank John Lewis, High Wycombe for a kind donation towards The Junction’s Christmas party from their Give a Little Love scheme and The Garfield Weston Foundation for a grant. Today, Taylor Wimpey will be presenting a cheque of funds raised at their charity triathlon to CEO, Jenifer Cameron. We also share what the A4Y teams have been up to, alongside welcoming new faces and prepping for fun and celebratory events in the first part of 2024.

Save on Mid-Week and Weekend Stays for Groups

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 two off-peak Xperience offers available to schools and groups that can include a yurt stay.

Celebrating our Trustees

Trustees play a crucial role in guiding and overseeing charities. We are very lucky to have a wonderful board of trustees which supports our cause in improving the lives for young people. Alastair Douglas, CFO and Senior Vice President of SquareTrade, and one of A4Y’s trustees, has announced we will be their charity of the year for 2024! We are also pleased to share we will be welcoming three new trustees to the team in December. We will be announcing them officially next month. November played host to ‘Trustees Week’ where we delved into the wonderful work of our trustees and how we couldn’t do what we do without them!

One Big Celebration

We are over the moon to announce we have 10 school teams joining us for our Big Challenge Lunch on the 24th January 2024. In a race against the clock, school teams of 8 young people, from around Milton Keynes, will take on schools from across Buckinghamshire. In a bid to raise the Ultimate Challenge Cup for their school and local council, teams will face a mix of 10 different challenges. The event is kindly sponsored by NHBC alongside centre:mk, Ringway and Unity Place.

Want to sponsor the event or donate to the goody bags for our event? – For more details please email Bonnie Clayton.

Things You May Have Missed…

Young adventurers from The Walton High School explored the Peak District on their SIlver and Gold The Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition (pictured above). Whilst gaining a deep appreciation for nature, they conquered the outdoors and improved their resilience and confidence.

As well as making a financial donation, volunteers from The Asset Management Team of Mazars (pictured above) kindly volunteered their time to paint the inside of the George Amy building, residential bedrooms, and canteen at The Caldecotte Xperience, with the aim to create a safe and inviting environment for young people to explore, learn, and grow.

Mazars Company Partners, Sarah Cooke and Lucy Sampson are passionate about the project, saying “We wanted to make a difference in our local area by supporting a local charity. We believe that every child deserves a safe and enjoyable place to visit, explore, and experience new things. Our partnership with Action4Youth allows us to fulfil this vision and positively impact the lives of young people.”

Action4Youth strategic partner and funder, NHBC, also volunteered at The Caldecotte Xperience. The team refreshed the George Amey building showers and bathrooms ensuring that young people have welcoming and clean facilities to use on their visit.

Matthew Clay, Chief Digital and Technology Officer expressed their pride in NHBC’s commitment to corporate volunteering, stating, “Participating in initiatives like Caldecotte Xperience isn’t just about giving back, it’s about showing a demonstrable culture of compassion and social responsibility within our organisation. The positive ripple effect is immeasurable, and we are honoured to be part of it.”

We thank Family Angels for their support – Mentor, Holly Meek, explained “I put in a referral to Family Angels who kindly donated funds so that one of the young people I mentor could get a therapy rabbit. The rabbit helps with her anxiety and it gives her company and something positive to focus on.” 

Xtremely Good Fun for an Xtremely Good Cause

Join us for a unique team-building event on Tuesday 16th April 2024.

The Caldecotte Xtreme Challenge promises fun and something a little different. Participants in temas of 4 – 6 people 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 often receive referrals for counselling from Carers Bucks. With permission, one of the young people shares their positive experience of counselling at The Junction below.

“The counselling support organised for me was amazing. I thought it was going to be really awkward and I wouldn’t know the answers to the questions but it is not like that. I just talk about all the stuff that is important to me and even if I just spend the whole session just talking about my day, my counsellor just listens to me and says it is just fine. I can say what I want and I just feel so relieved and lighter afterwards. What’s really good is that I have learnt quite a bit about myself too – about how I have tended not to think about my emotions and just push them away. Thank you for organising this. It is amazing.”

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.

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

Faces of Action4Youth

We now regularly share the faces behind the A4Y team on our social channels #A4YFaces – this issue we thought it would be nice to showcase Adam Hurley (above). Adam is one of our instructors at CaldecotteHe mainly instructs on paddle sports and says he loves working at The Caldecotte Xperience because it is nice to teach young people outside of classroom. He gets to encourage them in a different environment, outside of their the comfort zone and have fun at the same time! We look forward to meeting another team member next month.

We also extend a warm welcome to Katie (pictured above) who is our new Grow Your Ambition Programme Lead. The new programme incorporates some of the key aspects of the NCS programme, but is run alongside schools and colleges, offering an alternative to the usual day of school! Welcome aboard Katie!

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