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ENABLING YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH SNOWSPORTS TO GROW IN CONFIDENCE AND SELF ESTEEM, DEVELOP AS INDIVIDUALS AND MAKE POSITIVE CHOICES.
To engage inner-city youth-at-risk through snowsports and provide life-skills training and vocational opportunities to increase their motivation and aspirations, build relationships and gain qualifications and employment.
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Snow-Camp is the UK’s only youth charity that uses skiing, snowboarding and life skills to support young people.
The young people that Snow-Camp works with live in urban environments, where crime, gang violence, drug and alcohol use and anti-social behaviour go hand-in-hand with low incomes, unemployment, poor quality housing, educational challenges and a lack of quality outdoor space.
Snow-Camp has a number of different initiatives on offer, based on the amount of experience participants have within the programme. This ranges from two-day introductory courses all the way to accredited instructor courses, based in the UK with time away in top ski resorts.
By offering combined snowsports and life-skills training, the programme enables young people to grow in confidence and self-esteem, develop as individuals and make positive choices for their lives while at the same time enjoying themselves learning a new sport. This helps participants to develop new skills to support their futures.
Snow-Camp is favourably geared towards crafting future careers in the snowsport industry for participants. Many of the programme participants have gone on to secure part-time and full-time employment in the snowsport industry and some have even gone on to become youth workers for the Snow-Camp programme itself.
Connecting sport and life-skills education
After each slope session, participants spend time in the classroom. Snow-Camps life-skills sessions are based upon round-the-table group discussions facilitated by trained youth workers, social workers, industry leaders and peer mentors. These sessions are designed to help young people reflect upon the skills they are demonstrating on the slopes – perseverance, commitment, listening, teamwork, patience and overcoming fear, as well as how to respond to challenges, deal with peer pressure and setting goals for the future.
Snow-Camp offers four initiatives that cater for participants based on their previous experience in Snow-Camp. This begins with “First Tracks” - a two-day beginner course during the school holidays which incorporates life-skills sessions focussing on independence, responsibility, confidence and self-esteem. The second stage, “Graduate” is a more comprehensive six-day, higher-level snowsports training course combined with sessions on vocational opportunities within the ski industry. The third stage, “Excel” is an eight-day advanced snowsports training with sessions on the theory of teaching snowsports, assessment by Snowsport England and 20 hours shadowing. The final “Apprenticeship” stage provides five young graduates with full-time employment for one year with Snow-Camp and incorporates a range of vocational experiences with snowsports industry partners. All young people who have been through the Excel stage of the programme have the opportunity to join the Snow-Camp Youth Forum (SCYF), where young people can get more involved with Snow-Camp’s work. Snow-Camp is passionate about giving young people a voice and is committed to empowering young people to be creators and not just consumers of our services. The SCYF develops and maintains links between Snow-Camp’s management team (Board of Trustees, staff etc) and the young people Snow-Camp supports. It is run entirely by its members, with Snow-Camp staff attending for support.
Use of patrons and ambassadors
Snow-Camp has engaged numerous high-profile figures from the world of British snowsports to act as patrons and ambassadors for the programme. Their profile and ability to communicate Snow-Camp’s work has had a hugely positive influence on the growth of the charity. All of these ambassadors are British nationals and include television presenters and British Winter Olympic medallists.
Promote sport and physical activity
Snow-Camp helps young people develop an interest in physical fitness and learn a sport which increases their motivation while also increasing their fitness and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Improve public health and well-being
Snow-Camp places equal importance on promoting physical activity and the mental health of participants by incorporating life-skills classes which are designed to transform attitudes and behaviour through increasing self-esteem and self-confidence.
Provide equal access to sport
Snowsports are out of reach for many young people across the UK. Snow-Camp tackles this by providing highly subsidised programmes and bursaries to cover tuition fees and to bring access to snowsports to participants. Taking young people out of the city and to the slopes increases their prospects noticeably while at the same time promoting snowsport in new markets across the UK. Furthermore, in taking young people from novice to qualified snowsport instructor, Snow-Camp facilitates the organic growth of the snowsports industry throughout the UK.
Snow-Camp has worked in partnership with more than 250 youth organisations since it started; from youth services to small independent youth projects and from national youth programmes to inner city schools. Snow-Camp also uses well-known figures in the world of domestic snowsport in the UK as patrons and ambassadors to spread the Snow-Camp message. It has an active website and social media channels and an electronic newsletter. Snow-Camp also hosts a variety of large fundraising activities to raise money for its programmes and promote its activities to wider audiences.
A comprehensive evaluation and impact assessment is utilised. An evaluation framework was developed with local partners to capture the impact of the programme in a cost-effective manner. This framework incorporates a range of qualitative and quantitative measures to track progress towards programme goals, whilst also using additional questionnaire-based monitoring for participants and partners.