The Challenger Trust

The Learn to Lead project

The Learn to Lead project is an award based project aimed at young people aged 12-14. BRONZE - 1 day a 'Mission' based challenge compromising a series of exciting outdoor tasks. Outcomes - Develop confidence and teamwork skills SILVER - 2 days , 1 night A camping - based programme involving challenging activities such as oreinteering, raft- building and trekking Outcomes - Develop communication problem solving decision making and teamwork skills. Learn to cope with new surroundings to manage risk and be more self-reliant. GOLD - 5 days , 4 nights A trekking or kayaking expedition - Young people take full responsibility for the planning of their expedition and organise fundraising activities to meet some of the cost Outcomes - Reinforce skills that have been previously learnt. Focus on enterprise, leadership and self-belief. Learn about money management.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1068226)





  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



We work closely with the schools and Connexions as well as other referral agencies. The need for our work in Hillingdon is established through working with these agencies as well as the schools deprivation index and NEET figures. Feedback from our very successful pilot project we ran last year shows the increasing need for our programmes and the positive influence and difference they make to disadvantaged young people. The need for our work in Hillingdon is established through working with these agencies as well as the schools deprivation index and NEET figures. Susie Young, Head of Careers, Guidance and WRL from Stockley Academy commented, ‘The students thoroughly enjoyed their time in Derbyshire even though it was cold and sometimes wet. Students who did not excel at academic students suddenly found they could do well in their team building exercises. It is a very valuable residential and we would be sad to think we could not offer it to our COPE students this coming year’. Shauna MacLeod who took part in the pilot project stated, ‘Thank you , I really enjoyed the trip it was well fun I liked fly fishing, planting trees was fun, feeding the wild boar and deer was also fun and the thing I enjoyed the most was kayaking it was funny when the boat capsized!!!! The walking up the hill was tiring and a bit hard but we made it!! I thought it was much better going down hill!! I found out a lot of things about trees, birds, different animals and much, much more!! Thank you so, so much I had great fun and thanks to Innes and Poppy for driving us about. Thank you Ian and Ivan as well.’ The schools we would like to part are under-performing and in the top 20% of the Schools Deprivation Index. Young people taking part in these programmes are at risk of becoming NEET ( Not in education, employment or training) and according to the Princes Trust, “Reducing youth unemployment by just 1% could save over £2millions in terms of youth crime avoided.” The 2008 Neet figures from the Department of children, schools and families and Connexions show that in London, 12,090 (5.8%) of 16-18 year olds are already facing NEET with 450 (5.3%) in Hillingdon. In the UK, the minimum educational standard for 16 year olds is five good passes (grade C or above) at GCSE, including Maths and English. In 2008, one in ten 16 year olds in England were still obtaining fewer than 5 GCSEs, only slightly below 1999/00. Children in disadvantaged inner-city schools rarely perform as well as their counterparts in better schools. Pupils living in the top quartile of affluent areas have a 70% chance of achieving give good GCSEs, compared with only 30% for pupils from areas in the bottom quartile. As a result, few pupils of deprived backgrounds get the educational opportunities they deserve. NEETS leapt by more than 100,000 in the past year and London remains one of the highest NEET areas in the country highlighted by the figures from the Department of Children, Schools and Families, “959,000 16-25 year old are NEET in 2009, 119,000 more than this point last year”. Many NEETS suffer multiple disadvantages owing to a range of social issues; low achievement and social deprivation are associated with low levels of employment, single parent households and parents with low educational qualifications. Young people outside formal education and training will often have health and other personal issues to deal with: there is also a strong link between being in care and low educational achievement. Our feedback from schools indicates that significant progress can be made through our preventative intervention at transition points and with young people at high risk of becoming NEET. We work on prevention, complement existing services and strategies and focus on gaps by seeking to engage early, in areas where provision is weak or lacking, NEET and other relevant indicators are high. There has been a substantive body of evidence in recent years. A comprehensive review of research carried out by the National Foundation for Education Research showed that “there is substantial research evidence to suggest that outdoor adventure programmes can impact positively on young people’s attitudes, beliefs and self-perceptions...interpersonal and social skills”. It also found “examples of outdoor adventure programmes yielding benefits in terms of the development of general and specific academic skills, as well as improved engagement and achievement, the promotion of positive behaviour and reduced rates of re-offending, and improved physical self-image and fitness”. Despite the increasing recognition and positive support for adventure and outdoor education and clear evidence that it works, there are still significant residual barriers and unmet needs. The current economic climate has made the situation worse and key risk indicators for NEET groups and the NEET percentiles have started to show negative trends. Surveys from schools have reinforced and highlight the need. Teachers feedback from the courses states: • Self esteem – achieving the unachievable • Students with some behavioural difficulties were sometimes the better leaders and showed determination to succeed • Some usually misbehaving students were superb team players • Students who are shy really gained confidence and trust in the group • Team work and listening are skills that school cannot really teach • It brought out strengths in students who don’t always demonstrate them in the classroom. • Some pupils were much more motivated and focused compared to their behaviour in school A typical Programme will be costed as follows: Unit Cost Total £ Number of students 300 Bronze 20 6000 Silver 80 24000 Gold 250 75000 *Award 120 36000 Programme Cost 470 141000 Student contribution 75 22500 Project Cost 92,000 *Please note the award cost will vary depending award and intergration to DofE, Prince’s Trust, Outward Bound, Cadets, Scouts etc