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05 September 2012

Encouraging young people through outdoor adventure

Encouraging young people through outdoor adventure

Breakout Adventure, a unique and effective charity which changes peoples’ lives through adventure, has been nominated for an Inspire Award.

The charity frequently engages with young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties as it believes that their activities can be used as a powerful tool to help them develop. 

Glyn Davies, who nominated the charity for the inspire award, said: “Breakout is committed to empowering children, young people and adults to move forward in their lives, through outdoor adventure and therapeutic aspects.”

Steve Porter began Breakout after teaching children with behavioural and learning difficulties.

On realising that he made more progress in a week of residential activities than he ever had in the classroom, he began to first engage with church youth groups, and then started Breakout as a full time volunteer. 

The project has grown over the years, and Steve is now employed at Breakout which receives about 800 young people annually, and describes how the activities can “build confidence and give young people self-esteem. By giving those who have had major problems fresh challenges in a new situation, you get to watch them grow.”

On visiting Breakout, young people have the opportunity to do canoeing, kayaking, climbing, caving, gorge walking, surfing, sailing and many other activities.

They even have their own ship, Svanskar, which offers its own special form of therapy, as people work on the boat (even scrubbing the deck) or just relax and enjoy being out at sea.

They are also now working directly with a local church and two local primary schools on a family project, engaging with young people who have particular family difficulties.

More information on the Inspire Awards and how to make your nomination: Inspire Awards