For the first time in Snow-Camp history, the emergence of Covid-19 led to the pause of all programmes running at that time. Although the pandemic made it impossible to continue coming together at UK snow centres, it did not mean the closure of our support to young people. As a team we are proud to have continued working throughout this challenging period, adapting to ensure we can continue helping them at this time.
For our 2020/21 programme year (July-June), we are doing things a little differently and are putting plans in place to deliver a new series of courses to specifically address the effect Covid-19 is having on vulnerable young people. The first course in this new series is Headstart, a virtual introduction to Snow-Camp combined with a mental wellbeing workshop.
Taking place on Zoom, our mental health counsellors will deliver a mental wellbeing workshop with our youth apprentices and volunteers. It will focus on some of the emotions young people may be feeling at the moment including anger, stress and anxiety.
Young people will also hear from our Programme Managers about the opportunities that available with Snow-Camp including learning how to ski or snowboard, new qualifications and routes to work experience and employment.
We’ll provide a takeaway PDF, which will give the young people some tools and resources to help them to look after their mental health day-to-day.
For those who would like to get involved with Snow-Camp, they will have the opportunity to join First Tracks, a 2-day introduction to skiing and snowboarding combined with life-skills training at local indoor snow centres in the next few months.
We have had a lot of success delivering online sessions over the last few months, from running one-to-one and group counselling workshops to fitness sessions, inspiring talks and qualification sessions. These efforts have kept our young people engaged and motivated and we know that further innovation and flexibility will be required in the year ahead.
We are confident that Headstart will be a valuable course for young people. It will enable them to not only deal with some of the negative emotions they may be feeling but it will help to build their motivations and aspirations as we show the opportunities that are available with Snow-Camp. We have already received some fantastic feedback from the first few sessions we have delivered:
“I thought the mental health part was fantastic. It was a really nice pace and kept the young people engaged. The Snow-Camp young people were phenomenal. I was really impressed with how well they spoke on Zoom. I know how anxiety inducing it can be to speak in front of people on Zoom and all three spoke like they had been doing it for years! Elisha talked really well about the challenges she has faced and how she overcame them. It must have really helped the young people who were feeling anxious or nervous to know that someone speaking so confidently was feeling the exact same just a couple of years ago. Bonnie gave a really good account of what it has been like for her going through this year’s programme and what it was like to come into a group and how she found it making friends. As you know, this is always a big concern for young people coming onto the programme but I thought that Bonnie really helped to alleviate some of those fears and show how special the friendships formed at Snow-Camp can be! Blake’s talk showed the young people on the call where this programme can take them and the incredible opportunity that it is. He is not only a fantastic role model through what he has achieved, but he is able to communicate his journey in a really easy to understand way.” – Tom Dale, Sports Coordinator at The Hive Youth Zone.
“The talk on stress was very useful, they [the young people] are glad they are going to get the info on a PDF as they think it is something they will definitely refer to. I thought it was great!” – Ross Baillie, Prince’s Trust Team Leader.
If you work with young people and would like to get them involved in Headstart please do get in touch. We have funding available, so youth projects can get involved for free.