Snow Camp Celebrate a Landmark Winter Season

With October 2023 marking Snow Camp’s 20th anniversary, the 23/24 winter season was always going to be a special one for everyone involved in the charity. Little did we know just how special this season would turn out to be.

Events, Events, Events

The season kicked off in style with Snow Camp ‘s 20th Anniversary Charity Ball at the stunning Undeglobe on London’s South Bank; with over 300 guests, supporters and young people in attendance to celebrate our impact over the past two decades.

On the night, Snow Camp’s Founder Dan Charlish reflected on the past 20 years and the support we’ve had to positively impact the lives of more than 20,000 young people nationally. Beneficiaries from every Snow Camp generation also spoke from the heart about the impact Snow Camp has had on their lives; alongside a live auction hosted by Chemmy Alcott, Graham Bell and Derek Redmond which raised a staggering £100,000 on the night.

The 20 Year Ball kicked off a mammoth season-opening fortnight with two back-to-back show shows as part of National Show Week – the first at the NEC in Birmingham and the second at ExCel London. Not to mention two fantastic days at the London International Snowsports Trade Exchange (LISTEX) in between; always a fantastic opportunity to see and thank so many of our industry partners in person.

Whilst the shows were underway, Snow Camp Ambassador and the World’s Fastest Snowboarder Jamie Barrow was touring the UK to meet and present to our young people progressing through our intermediate programme. With ‘broadening horizons and breaking down barriers’ being at the heart of what we do, there’s no one better to inspire the next generation progressing through our programme journey.

In amongst it all, Snow Camp were announced as winners of the Social Justice Apprentice Employer of the Year at the South East National Apprenticeship Awards 2023. We were honored to attend the regional awards ceremony to be recognised alongside many other fantastic organisations committed to supporting people into and through apprenticeships who are disadvantaged or under-represented.

Shortly after, in early November, our wonderful friends at Knight Frank hosted a corporate charity day for Snow Camp at The Snow Centre, Hemel Hemsptead, with 60 staff members meeting and skiing with our young people alongside special appearances from international skiers Ollie Davis, Charlie Raposo and Snow Camp Patron Warren Smith. Collectively, the day raised a fantastic £15,000 for Snow Camp’s work heading into the winter season, with special thanks to Sheila de Cordova and Alex Koch de Gooreynd for their invaluable support.

In late November, Snow Camp were welcomed as a charity partner to the 2024 KSL Ski Premier Movie Night in Mayfair – a stunning evening in a stunning venue, with new connections made and generous donations received on the night. To Coley Brenen, Ed Montague-Doghan, Blanche Crowe and everyone involved in making the night so special, thank you.

Heading into January, Inghams once gain stepped up to offer an incredible experience week for our apprentices in Val D’Isere (an invaluable experience to learn about working a season in the mountains), whilst the Snow Camp events team headed to Morzine as the official charity partner to the 2024 Inter-Livery Ski Championships (ILSC); a stunning week once again where 29 teams of 4 took on our team triathlon and collectively raised a staggering £57,000 for Snow Camp’s work.

We couldn’t have been more grateful to everyone involved with the ILSC this year, with a special mention to Emma & Marc for driving our special relationship forward, and to Bobby & Milana (Snow Camp Apprentices) who spoke so openly about their Snow Camp journeys on stage, and lastly to James Timpson who turned out to recognise everyone’s achievements at Le Tremplin during the week.

Our team even squeezed in a visit to the SIGB Ski Test in La Clusaz – a wonderful opportunity for Bobby & Milana to see how the world of brand & retailer come together behind the scenes.

From the Inter-Livery Ski Championships, we were honored to attend the 2024 City Ski Championships in Crans Montana thanks to Amin and the Momentum Ski team – yet another fantastic occasion to connect with so many individuals & companies who appreciate the power of snowsports to change lives; an event which we’ve been proud to attend for many years.

Shortly after, all eyes were on the Chill Factore, Manchester, with former professional snowboarder turned versatile presenter Tim Warwood spending time with our young people for our 3rd feature on BBC Ski Sunday. During the feature – introduced and supported by Snow Camp Patrons Ed Leigh and Chemmy Alcott – Tim captured the essence of their Snow Camp journeys and the impact the charity has had on their lives over recent years. What a privilege once again – thank you Tim!

It was then all-systems-go for the 2024 AJ Bell 3 Valley Rally in Val Thorens (13th-16th April) – and wow what an event it turned out to be with over £250,000 raised!

Under blue skies and high spring temperatures, and with snow conditions holding up at altitude, 72 participants valiantly took on a ski orienteering challenge covering the whole of the Val Thorens & Belleville Valleys, alongside a team biathlon, snow shoe hike, team distance challenge, the longest zip wire in the alps and our duel parallel slalom to complete the six challenges.

With every team skiing hard, it was only fitting to party hard and celebrate everyone’s achievements with two après parties, two 5* dinners and one official after party to bring the event to a close. In fact, the awards dinner will go down in Snow Camp history given the generosity Sam Gompels (long-term friend of the charity) who match-funded every donation on the night, to a grand total of over £100,000. Thank you Sam!

With the stunning Hotel Le Fitz Roy team going above & beyond to look after all our guests once again, all our supporting partners (Prosneige, Apres Ski Bands, HUSKI, Club Des Sport, Val Thorens, Folie Douce and co), and of course the support of Andy Bell and the Bell family for helping us take the event to new heights as our title sponsor year on year, this year really was something special. We can’t wait for the 2025 edition already.

As our final experience in the alps this season, 10 of the Snow Camp staff team had the honour of stopping by at the Salomon Design Centre in Annecy on route home from Val Thorens – an experience which had a huge impact on the 4 apprentices with us as they embark on the next chapters in their snowsport careers. Thank you to Inga and everyone involved!

Stunning support from the snowsports industry

More so than any previous year, our breadth of partners from every corner of the snowsports industry have played an integral part in changing the lives of underprivileged inner-city young people across the UK.

From support in-kind to raising Snow Camp’s profile and driving forward a multitude of fundraising, sponsorship and donation campaigns, this year’s support from the industry has been truly remarkable.

From DARE2B ensuring our young people look the part and stay comfortable on the slopes, to our programme partners (BASI, The Snow Centre, The Chill Factore, SnowDome Tamworth, Bearsden Ski & Snowboard Centre, Hillend Activity Centre) being integral to our impact nationally.

To Planet Ski, In The Snow Magazine and The White Out Podcast regularly promoting our events and key news; to Knight Frank and our Corporate Ski Day at the Snow Centre allowing us to connect with so many of your team, to the London Snow Show, The Kendal Mountain Festival and LISTEX inviting us to network with their members, exhibitors and the public; to kit donations, event invites, introductions or otherwise, the in-kind support we’ve been lucky enough to receive again this season has been exceptional.

To Inghams, Halsbury Travel, DSUK, ISSC, Ellis Brigham, The Raccoon Media Group, Maison Sport, SunGod, Planks Clothing, The Chill Factore, The Snow Centre, DOUK Snow, Absolute Snow, Bearsden Ski & Snowboard Centre, Ski Press and every partner who’s either hosted a Snow Camp Apprentice work placement, or simply an industry insight opportunity, thank you. We look forward to many more years of broadening horizons together.

To our friends at Ski Safari and HEIDI who’ve gone above & beyond to donate a remarkable £34,000 between them this season!

To the Salomon Foundation, Maison Sport, Snow + Rock, the Ski Club of Great Britain, NUCO Travel, Edinburgh University Snowsports Club, True North Travel, White Storm Ski Rentals, European Snowsports Verbier, Imbrace Leggings, Front Left Festival, Kendal Mountain Festival, LeSki, Skimigos, Off The Piste Ski Trip, OOSC Clothing, Pure Sports Medicine, Rise Festival, The Ski Exchange, GB Ski Servicing, Ski Miquel and Absolute Snow who’ve eached raised funds for Snow Camp through integrated, optional or campaign-focussed donations this year… wow, what a season it’s been together. Thank you!

To the Harkess Family and Yasmin Pledger who’s just cycled the length of the UK for Snow Camp in memory of her cousin Joe – raising over £20,000 combined towards the mental-wellbeing support on offer for every Snow Camp young person – thank you. You smashed it Yas!

To Ruben & Ollie who smashed their Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge for us to fund 3 young people to access snowsports for the first time on our beginner programmes, to Terry Walker’s ‘lipholstery’ during Movember which raised over £700, to Marcus Lendon – former Snow Camp young person from our first ever group in 2003 (!) – taking to the charity boxing ring for us, to Dan Frith’s cycling challenge with his father from St Sebastien to Barcelona, to Jamie Barrow fundraising as part of his inspirational speaker tour during our intermediate programme, to Will Ferguson-Smith (aka Biggywawa) hosting a mega DJ marathon and raising over £2,000… your collective fundraising challenges and events have blown us away. Thank you.

Collective impact at its heart

All the support above (as has been the case for over 20 years) is channelled towards one key objective; to turn many more young lives around with the power of snowsports. For some, working closely with Snow Camp to develop life-skills, qualifications and positive career opportunities is what sits at the heart of the relationship. For others, simply offering the opportunity for those less fortunate to access skiing, snowboading and this lifestyle and environment we all love so much is the primary motive.

Whatever the reason, we couldn’t be more grateful for the sheer amount of creativity, passion and commitment from everyone; not to mention the extensive list of trusts, foundations, corporate partners and monthly donors who continue to support Snow Camp’s journey.

Through this landmark 20th anniversary year, you have played an integral part in positively impacting the lives of over 860 young people across the UK, including:

• 780 young people nationally completing our 2 day beginner First Tracks programme, providing their first ever experience of snowsports.

• 177 progressing onto our 5 day intermediate Graduate programme, developing their snowsports skills over 5 weekends alongside life skills sessions and mental wellbeing workshops.

• 78 progressing onto our 10 day advanced Excel programme to gain a BASI Foundation Instructor qualification alongside First Aid, and Safeguarding certificates plus Mental Health in the workplace, 62 of which heading out for a life-changing week in Andorra; their first experience in the mountains.

• 8 young people progressed on to gain their BASI Level 1 Ski or Snowboard Instructor qualification, with 1 young person (Josh from our North West Programme) progressing on to gain his BASI Level 2!

• 80+ young people from previous years returned as Snow Camp Youth Forum members to support & inspire their peers coming through our programmes or represent Snow Camp at our UK or overseas events.

• 3,164 volunteer hours were delivered by our youth forum nationally – more than any previous year!

• 841 young people accessed Snow Camp’s mental-wellbeing support, be that through our 1-1 counselling or wellbeing sessions or attending our live workshops throughout the year. For many young people, this support’s been truly invaluable over the past 12 months.

Our Snow Camp Apprentices also played a key role in our programme delivery in every region whilst gaining invaluable career experience with our snowsport-industry partners. We wish them all the very best for their future careers as they near the end of their apprenticeships with us this month.

Thank you

Wow what a winter season it’s been, and congratulations on making it this far!

We’ll be the first to acknowledge the length of this feature, but with so much generosity, creativity and wide-ranging support towards our work with young people all over the UK – young people who so dearly need the positive opportunities we provide – it was only fitting to capture it all as we round off this remarkable year for everyone involved.

To read more about any of the features above in more detail, please head over to our Latest News section or your favourite Snow Camp social media channel.

Thank you for sticking with us and roll on winter 24/25!

Team Snow Camp