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Local Bank Backs Island’s Youth Self-Development Scheme

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Local Bank Backs Island’s Youth Self-Development Scheme

Acclaimed Youth Scholarship Programme receives bank’s key support

Conister Bank continues its support for community initiatives by sponsoring the Youth Scholarship – Development and Leadership Programme. The programme, which is run by Adventurous Experiences, enables Year 12 students across the Isle of Man to take part in a once in a lifetime experience of teamwork and self-discovery.

Students who secure a place on the programme commit to 18 months of training with a professional coaching team, culminating in an overseas expedition. With the project now entirely funded by Adventurous Experiences in partnership with Conister Bank, the students need only contribute to the cost of their final overseas challenge.

Adventurous Experiences, run by Keirron Tastagh, has now been delivering a wide variety of outdoor training and excursions for over a decade. Having enjoyed one of their team-building events in September 2014, representatives of Conister Bank got to know about Adventurous Experiences’ Youth Scholarship. 

Says Keirron, “It’s the main community project we deliver, and until recently, we funded it entirely ourselves.” Running an expensive and time-hungry project in the current financial climate might have seemed daunting but, as Keirron explains, the adventure company believes in putting community benefit before personal risk: “It reinforced our core values. Through our outdoor experiences, we show people how to ‘lead from the front’ and see the bigger picture; we felt it was important to put those lessons into practice ourselves.”

Then came a fortuitous encounter with Conister Bank, whose track record of support for community-orientated initiatives and events grows stronger by the year. Managing Director Juan Kelly comments, “We had a great team building event with Adventurous Experiences.  When we discovered the lengths to which Keirron goes to help others through the Youth Scholarship Programme, we knew that this was something we wanted to be involved with, as our approach to sponsorship is to try and make a real difference to the lives of people on the Isle of Man.”

Keirron adds, “We are absolutely delighted to partner with the team at Conister Bank, who share our values and vision for the Isle of Man. The programme is part of our continuous learning framework and the focal point of our long-term strategy to foster a joined-up approach to decision-making on the Isle of Man. Through journeying and progression, we promote discovery and self-reliance and through coaching people , we can change perspectives.”

The Youth Scholarship, as many students have testified, also simply offers the experience of a lifetime. John Keggin, Programme Manager, comments, “We believe in young people’s capacity to grow, and using our skills to help them unlock their potential. By showing them a pathway to achieving their goals, and nurturing self-responsibility through innovative coaching and diverse challenges, we maximize the opportunities for self-realisation”.

Rebecca Goodson and Sam Murphy were students on the 2008/9 and 2006/7 programme respectively. They went on to lead the Summer 2012 expedition, bringing their self-development experiences full circle. Rebecca comments, “With the added responsibility of ensuring the safety of the group, the resourcefulness, flexibility and problem solving skills which the Youth Scholarship Program teaches, became essential. The values which I had learnt through my own experiences as a participant were just as applicable in a leadership role, it is satisfying to see others discover and to develop the same skills in themselves as they progress through the training and into the expedition.”

Sam, meanwhile, has found that the lessons he learned through the programme have become invaluable in his working life: “The experience to me clarified the theory that anything is possible if you work at it enough. This is something I take with me now in my own business on the Isle of Man.

“Between 2006 and now, my attitude, physicality, mental fortitude, dedication and desire to succeed have all drastically improved. All of which began to develop, and will continue to do so, because of the initial lessons learned during my Youth Scholarship process.” 





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