February half-term once again saw Positive Futures, a youth development charity in North Liverpool, run not one, but three residential trips for young people.
In total, 27 young people attended the various residentials, which were in London, Skipton and Bala.
The London residential, where 10 young people enjoyed a fun packed three days in the capital, ensured that young people got to try new things and see new sights including a trip to the theatre to see Wicked and sight-seeing at some famous tourist attractions including Big Ben, Covent Garden and Tower Bridge. Over the three days, the group walked an impressive 52,437 steps which equated to 28.7miles – wow! No wonder there were lots of sore feet on the train ride back home! Building on their partnership approach, the group also took the opportunity to visit Mary’s Youth Club in Islington. During the visit, the Positive Futures young people played some icebreaker and team building games which helped to set them up for an afternoon of further activity. After lunch, where the young people mixed and chatted about similarities and differences between the two areas and organisations, they moved on to dodgeball and dance sessions. Mary’s Youth Club are now planning to visit Liverpool later this year, to give their young people similar opportunities and continue to build on a fantastic new friendship between the two organisations. Talking of the trip, one young person said:
“We are all going to join the drama and dance groups after this, we didn’t think we would enjoy this trip as much as we did, thank you.” Whilst another commented:
“PF have given me so many amazing opportunities and this is the icing on the cake, I want to be more involved and take responsibility so I can now give something back!”
But the fun didn’t stop there, 10 other PF participants headed to Glan-llyn, Bala for an action packed weekend which included the likes of canoeing and raft building on Bala Lake, that really pushed them to their limits due to the poor weather conditions. But they didn’t let that put them off or dampen their spirits (in spite being quite wet throughout the weekend with all the water sports), but instead they embraced the opportunity to learn more skills. They also took part in bowling, archery, climbing, bouldering, swimming, football/basketball, High Ropes activities and a campfire. What was so special about this residential, was that it was made up of two groups of young people from the same school and year group, who, prior to the trip, didn’t get on. However, after taking part in the various team building activities, the group are now friends. This was just the result that that staff at Positive Futures had hoped for, as the school had discussed this clash and the impact of this with the PF staff prior to them planning the residential.
The third and final residential headed off to Play Away Centre at Eshton Grange in Skipton, where a group of seven young people really get back to nature and take some time out. The theme of the trip was ‘Noticing.’ Noticing how we feel, how our thoughts influence our feelings, and noticing the physical feelings in the body. Noticing things like these is the first stage of emotional regulation, and the Positive Futures team wanted to support the group in learning how to notice things more, both with themselves and others, and that was what the whole trip was based around.
Not only did they cook for themselves, but they took part in outdoor games at night whereby they donned their wellies, warm coats and grabbed torches etc. before heading out and taking part in Wide Games. This type of activity is becoming less popular with young people, but it was great to see the PF group embracing this opportunity to get outside and have some fun!
The group of young people, who all had a degree of vulnerability, really came together to support each other during the trip. From helping each other to prepare evening meals, to getting out in nature and supporting each other to get involved, it was fantastic to see the group show so much respect and appreciation for each other. This was further evidenced in the animal therapy, art therapy and music therapy sessions.
Since these various trips, the feedback received from parents has been incredible, with one parent commenting:
“Can I just say a big thank you from me and the girls for taking the girls to London, they told me they had an amazing time. It sounded like a brilliant well thought out and coordinated trip. Thanks so much, they are still well away in bed!”
Every year, Positive Futures works with hundreds of young people via a range of interventions. This includes engaging with them out on the streets via their detached work, in their youth space on Tetlow Way where they run a wide range of free sessions each and every week, and via their targeted support services. In the past 12 months alone, Positive Futures has supported approximately 140 young people via their Targeted Support Services which includes the likes of CBT, Counselling Skills and Neuro-diversity.
To find out more about their work, or support them via donations, visit their website.