Who We Are

About Us

Snow-Camp are the UK’s only registered charity using a unique combination of snowsports, life skills sessions, qualifications and work experience to support inner-city young people.

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 them reflect upon the skills they are demonstrating whilst learning to ski or snowboard. In addition to the life skills learnt, they gain accredited qualifications at each stage of the Programme Journey. We provide a number of work experience and volunteering opportunities, giving young people the best chance at turning their lives around to create a positive future for themselves. 

Why We Started

Snow-Camp was founded by Dan Charlish in 2003. Working as a youth worker in Stockwell, London at the time. Dan overheard his youth group saying, whilst playing a snowboarding X-Box game, that this was the closest they were ever going to get to the mountains and snowsports.

“Their perception of snowsports was accurate, in that it was something, at that time, they were never going to be able to experience for real. They were at high-risk of seriously going off the rails. Our job as their youth workers was to provide an alternative.”

A snowboarder himself, Dan knew that a few days on the slopes could be the mechanism to spur these young people into a positive mindset. Just weeks later he had secured funding to take the first 13 young people on a week-long programme to France. Since that life-changing week, Dan with a passionate staff team have driven the charity forward to support more than 1000 young people nationally each year. Programmes have developed from an annual ski trip to an accredited series of programmes taking place in the UK and providing a much-needed service to youth projects.

Our Aims

Engage

youth by providing a young people friendly journey of accessible programmes.

Teach

young people the skills they need to raise their aspirations and gain employment.

Improve

levels of accessibility and participation in snowsports for inner-city young people.

Provide

an environment where young people can thrive, develop and have fun.

Our Objectives

To Develop Life Skills

Learning to ski or snowboard requires perseverance, commitment, patience, overcoming fear, teamwork and determination - all essential life skills for inner-city young people.

snowboarder image

To Broaden Horizons and Break Down Barriers

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.

group ski image

To Promote Qualifications

Each Snow-Camp Programme delivers nationally accredited qualifications, including Snowsport England/Scotland/Wales Snow Life Award, ASDAN Youth Qualification in Sports and Fitness, Snowsport England/Scotland and BASI Instructor Qualifications and NVQs in Activity Leadership.

To Achieve Positive Change

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 have supported

0 young people
(June 2017)

Our Vision

Fourteen years ago, 13 young people boarded a coach to Les2Alpes—the very first Snow-Camp Charity students. Snow-Camp has grown into something much bigger, a nationally renowned charity that has provided the highest quality youth work to more than 8,500 young people to date.

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 1000 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. 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 running in London and Scotland is amazing. We won’t stop there though. It is now our vision to see our full Programme Journey operating in each region as well as to pilot programmes in Manchester later in the year.

"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
Image of Jenny Jones

“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
Image of Warren

“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
Image of Chemmy

“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

Our Awards

Apprenticeship National Award 2015 logo
community sport award logo

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