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Outdoor Education at Hollowford
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context:This project proposes to support a long term EVS placement with the Lindley Educational Trust (LET), an outdoor activity and youth development charity based in the UK’s Peak District National Park. LET has 50 years’ experience of supporting personal development through challenging and inspiring outdoor activities, including climbing, caving, kayaking and bushcraft, delivered in a safe, supportive environment and led by professional instructors. LET’s work is delivered from two residential centres in the Peak District, and, increasingly, through outreach projects in disadvantaged urban areas. LET is committed to inclusion and is able to adapt many of its activities to support those with additional needs. The organisation also has a bursary fund to enable the participation of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and to support groups that need a higher instructor to client ratio.Objectives:This project aims to • provide an immersive experience of the outdoor learning sector• support employability through facilitating the development of the skills, experience and attributes needed to work in the outdoor learning sector • support the development of range of task-specific skills, informal learning, reflective processes and personal development. • support the development of English language skills in a range of real life contexts• support cultural exchange and understanding and help build ongoing links with organisations across Europe to facilitate exchange of ideas and best practice• raise awareness of European volunteer opportunities with the young people that LET works with, many of whom are from disadvantaged communities• increase the number of outdoor activity projects taking part in EVS and other international exchange programmes.Volunteer Profile:The current project seeks to support one volunteer, an 18-year-old woman from Germany who proactively contacted LET as the receiving organisation and IJGD as the sending organisation. Following an outward bound course, plus voluntary work supervising outdoor activities for children, the volunteer decided she wishes to pursue a career in outdoor education.LET is keen to host more Erasmus and EVS placements in the future, and potentially to act as a sending organisation for some of the many young people they work withActivities and Methodology:Through this project, the volunteer will get involved with all aspects of LET’s work. She will work alongside our instructors and experience all aspects of working in the delivery of outdoor education. The volunteer will initially observe sessions; as her confidence, competence and experience increases she will have opportunities to lead certain sessions, under supervision, and, potentially, to lead low risk activities by herself. She will have the opportunity to complete LET’s in-house training programme for on-site activities, plus attend relevant National Governing Body training courses for adventurous outdoor activities. She will also learn how to facilitate learning, develop a range of practical guided reflection and reviewing techniques, and gain valuable experience of different learning styles. Whilst these skills and techniques are used in the outdoor education setting they are highly transferable, and highly sought after, in many other industries.LET also works in an outreach capacity with young people in a very deprived area of Greater Manchester. The volunteer will have opportunities to get involved with this programme, supporting the delivery of sessions and hosting discussion with participants.Refection and review are a key part of the programme and the volunteer will be supported in setting and reviewing objectives, and also in identifying the areas of LET’s work in which she is most interested. She will be assigned a Mentor with whom she will have regular review sessions.Results and Impact:The expected impact for the volunteer are the development the competences, values, skills and ability to work with a diverse range of young people in an outdoor education setting, including those with additional needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The benefits for LET include having a fresh perspective on current practices and procedures - the volunteer will be asked to give feedback and suggest improvements. LET will also be able to forge links with European partners to support information exchange and future volunteer placements.Longer term benefit:Dissemination of the programme results will, we hope, encourage more young people to enroll on EVS and Erasmus+ programmes and experience the huge range of benefits these bring. Since registering on the EYP database, LET has been inundated with requests from potential volunteers. By sharing the results of the current programme amongst the outdoor learning sector, LET aims to encourage more outdoor learning organisations to offer EVS and Erasmus+ placements, helping to meet the demand and share the benefits.
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