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Endeavour for Empowerment
By Hati Whiteley
09, Aug, 2017
Catching up with Endeavour after their introduction to climbing project
Have you ever arrived at the foot of a route, looked up at the rock face above you and - gulping back fear - doubted that you’d ever make it to the top? No point in turning back now, right?
That's the feeling that makes climbing all the more fulfilling when you succeed, it's also the feeling that Endeavour want young people to experience. We were delighted to be able to support them with their introduction to climbing project, so we caught up with them to find out how it went.
Endeavour is a charity that works with young people aged 13-25 who are missing from education, have learning difficulties, or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The charity runs personal development, educational, and social action projects to help young people develop the skills they need to face problems, tackle obstacles head-on, and succeed where they may previously have failed.
Over a period of 18 weeks, Endeavour delivered introductory climbing sessions to 90 young people, aiming to take them out of their comfort zones so they would feel better equipped to push their personal boundaries. Representative Graham Booth explained why the charity decided on climbing as a suitable activity for young people:
"We know from experience that activities such as climbing push personal boundaries so that our learners are inspired and challenged to succeed… Upon reaching the top of a climbing wall there is a real sense of 'wow, I did it! I reached the top!'. This transfers over to real life; if they reached the top of the climbing wall when they thought they didn't have a chance, maybe that exam won't be so bad, or maybe it is worth applying for that job."
Young people got a huge boost when they succeeded in climbing, helping them to develop the skills necessary to overcome obstacles beyond the wall.
Staff also saw development in the young people's communicative skills, as the sessions helped to break down barriers and get them interacting with one another and with staff:
"[In climbing], young people are taken out of their comfort zones in terms of communicating with others and working in teams. Key skills are brought to the forefront as they are asked to contribute positively to experiences. Gaining these skills helps young people feel more confident and able to face their problems and tackle them head-on."
Endeavour's project gave many young people a chance to give climbing a go, an opportunity that they may not have had otherwise. Graham hopes that these introductory sessions have encouraged the groups to continue practising the sport - we're looking forward to seeing them all at the crag!
The Alpkit Foundation supports projects that enable people to overcome the obstacles preventing them from Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things.
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