Since 2003, our small, dedicated team have been passionate about delivering an alternative approach to engage young people by providing a year-long Programme Journey at artificial and indoor ski slopes in the UK.
The time the young people spend on the slopes with us is further enhanced by our bespoke life-skills sessions which have been designed to help young people reflect upon the skills they are demonstrating whilst learning to ski or snowboard. In addition to the life-skills learnt, young people gain accredited qualifications at each stage of the programme journey, improving their CV, their qualifications and employment opportunities. Throughout our Programme Journey we provide a number of vocational opportunities and training, from industry talks to volunteering and work placements, we give young people the best chance at turning their lives around to create a positive future for themselves.
“I started Snow-Camp because I recognised that young people growing up in inner-city London had very low aspirations around education or employment, had a lack of opportunity to participate in any sport or leisure activity and were at a high-risk of becoming involved in the negative activities that were surrounding them. In 2003, we took 13 kids from 10 to 19 years old on a life-changing week in the French Alps. We had a lot of experienced youth workers with us and there was just something profound about the mountains and the way that snowsports impacted on the young people. We just knew we had something really special. There was something about the shift in environment from where the young people were living day to day to somewhere beautiful that had a real impact. There was nothing else out there that was offering young people that kind of opportunity.”
It’s always been our vision to reach as many young people as possible and it is with enormous pride that we can now officially introduce Snow-Camp as a national charity, making a huge impact. By far our most significant achievement is to have worked with almost 1,000 young people nationally throughout our 2016/17 programme year, with those attending more than 50 youth projects across London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Scotland.
In 2013, we embarked on Snow-Camp’s expansion and have taken sensible steps since. We officially launched our national campaign, 5NOW in 2015, with a vision to be operating in 5 cities by 2018. We did it! To witness programmes launching across the country at indoor snow domes and artificial slopes and to see the full programme journey, including First Tracks, Graduate and Excel, running in London and Scotland is amazing. We won’t stop there though. It is now our vision to see our full Programme Journey to be operating in each region as well as to pilot programmes in Manchester later in the year.
Learning to ski or snowboard requires perseverance, commitment, patience, overcoming fear, teamwork and determination - all essential life-skills for inner-city young people.
Taking young people from different areas out of the city to a neutral environment where they can thrive, challenges the territorial bias in gang culture today. Attitudes can be changed and cross-borough friendships made. Snowsports are also out of reach for many young people, we make snowsports accessible to those who would never normally have the opportunity to learn how to ski or snowboard.
Each Snow-Camp Programme delivers nationally accredited qualifications, including Snowsport England/Scotland/Wales Snow Life Award, ASDAN Youth Qualification in Health and Fitness, Snowsport England/Scotland and BASI Instructor Qualifications and NVQs in Activity Leadership.
Enabling more young people, who are not in training or employment to participate in targeted work experience, vocational training and apprenticeships, as well providing employment opportunities across the snowsports industry and beyond.
"Snow-Camp is a fantastic charity helping those from deprived backgrounds do something positive. People say snowsports are for the elite, and rowing has that reputation too. Snow-Camp proves this is not necessarily the case."Sir Steve Redgrave 5x Olympic Gold Medallist and Snow-Camp Ambassador
“I love the way Snow-Camp uses my sport to support young people who wouldn't ever get the chance to get involved in snowsports – and beyond that, to enable them to get qualifications and access to employment in the snowsports industry. I’m so honoured to be on board as a patron, as I am committed to seeing positive opportunities for young people in snowsports across the country.”Jenny Jones Sochi 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and Snow-Camp Patron
"I’m delighted to support the important work that Snow-Camp carries out, and I’m completely behind their goal to bring skiing to more young people and to make the sport more socially inclusive."Graham Bell BBC Presenter and Snow-Camp Patron
“When you look inside Snow-Camp’s programmes, they train an individual to be able to control certain aspects of behaviour, to channel negative energy into positive energy and create the overall outcome of someone who could work in the same industry as me. That for me is one of the best reasons why I choose to support Snow-Camp.”Warren Smith Professional Free Skier, Director of the Warren Smith Academy and Snow-Camp Patron
“For me, it’s sad when people have never seen proper snow before in London. It’s so accessible for us and for Snow-Camp to come along and bring this amazing sport to more people, it’s awesome. I just love that Snow-Camp brings winter sports to a whole new audience of kids who never thought that they would have the opportunity! I have always strived to make skiing available to all and Snow-Camp is really achieving that.”Chemmy Alcott 4X British Olympic Skier and Snow-Camp Patron