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Conister Bank Continues Support for Youth Development Initiative

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Conister Bank Continues Support for Youth Development Initiative

An acclaimed initiative that promotes young people’s development is being supported by Conister Bank for the second year running. The Youth Scholarship Development and Leadership Programme, which is run by outdoor sports centre Adventurous Experience, is designed to foster key life skills in school students in the Isle of Man. Conister’s continued support has enabled Adventurous Experiences to deliver an even more effective programme this year.

The programme – which has been a finalist in the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence (2014, Corporate Social Responsibility category) - sees a group of Year 12 students undertake 18 months of regular, challenging training before embarking on a three-week self-sufficient expedition in Vancouver Island. In Easter 2016, the students will circumnavigate the Isle of Man by sea kayak as part of their training. They will then head to Canada in July 2016 for the wilderness adventure of a lifetime!

Through their training and expedition, the students hone a range of skills that carry benefits far beyond the challenge itself. These include teamwork, self-confidence, dealing with adversity, dynamic planning and risk/benefit analysis.

Keirron Tastagh, owner of Adventurous Experiences, is proud of what the young people bring to and gain from the challenge: “The programme epitomises what can be achieved with a long-term team building initiative, using experiential education and real risk management understanding. We seek to continue our support after the expedition, with individuals from previous intakes being selected to join our coaching team as a trainee, progressing to a qualified coach. Some then go on to start their own innovative businesses."

Programme manager, John Keggin, adds, “Our mantra ‘Coaching People, Changing Perspectives’ is especially apt for the Youth Scholarship Programme. As our main community project – established before the business itself - it is also a focal point for our long-term strategy to raise the level of outdoor skills and safety on the Island.”

Students who have participated in the programme often stay in touch with Adventurous Experiences when they move forward in life, offering powerful feedback about how they benefited from the challenge. Fergus Veale says, “I’ve learnt how to be more of a team player and how to compromise more, adjusting myself for those who need help.” Rebecca Goodson found that the skills she acquired have been valuable in her working life: “The values which I learnt through my own experiences as a participant were just as applicable in a leadership role.” Sam Murphy, meanwhile, saw a positive impact on his character across the board: “I learned how to be independent, make my own decisions, and take responsibility for my actions. My attitude, physicality, mental fortitude, dedication and desire to succeed have all drastically improved.”

The ongoing support of Conister Bank has played an invaluable role in allowing Adventurous Experiences to develop and enhance the programme, ensuring that the students receive maximum benefit – as well, of course, as enjoying an unforgettable experience. This year, Conister Bank is also providing each participant with a lightweight waterproof jacket, leaving them with one less item on their kit list! 

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