The time the young people spend on the slopes with us is further enhanced by 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 qualifications at each stage of the Programme Journey and we provide mental wellbeing support and work experience and volunteering opportunities.
A snowboarder himself, Dan realised that snowsports could be the mechanism to bring about positive social change for his young people. The shift from inner-city estate to the mountain environment was so extreme, that in itself created a response in young people, widening their horizons and raising their aspirations.
In 2007, our work evolved from residential trips abroad into a UK based training programme taking place at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Many years later and we’re now working with youth projects and youth service providers nationally to target those most in need of our support.
Learning to ski or snowboard requires perseverance, commitment, patience, overcoming fear, teamwork and determination - all essential life-skills for inner-city young people.
Taking more young people out of the city to an environment where they can thrive can challenge the territorial bias, attitudes can be changed and cross-area friendships made.
Young people can gain up to 8 new qualifications and certificates on our programmes, improving their CV noticeably.
More young people not in training or employment to participate in targeted work experience, volunteering and apprenticeships across the snowsports industry and benefit from expert advice.
It has always been our vision to reach as many young people as possible and it is with enormous pride that we can officially introduce Snow-Camp as a national charity, making a huge impact. Over the next year our vision is to expand our mental wellbeing programme Uplift. We are now working with the Uplift team to recruit counsellors, doctors, therapists and mental health youth ambassadors nationally so that each Snow-Camp region will have their own local Uplift team. We also hope to expand our Apprenticeship Programme to offer more young people paid employment at Snow-Camp.
When I started Snow-Camp, I identified as female but whenever someone referred to me as she or her, my heart always sank a little. I grew up in a family that were very homophobic and transphobic, so it took a long time for me to change my mindset and to come to terms that I felt this way. Telling my Snow-Camp Programme Manager couldn't have been easier and the acceptance and support I got from Snow-Camp is one of the reasons why I volunteer with them. Now I feel way more comfortable in my body and when people call me Frankie it feels right, and it makes me happy.Frankie Snow-Camp Youth Volunteer
If I hadn’t got involved with Snow-Camp I would be in a lot of trouble for doing the wrong things with the wrong people. Not because of who I am but because of the influence on the the estates. With no real direction or ambition it’s easy to get sucked into a lifestyle so many people around you are living. Snow-Camp has helped me to have a positive future and now I have a full time job in the snowsports industry!Laquan Snow-Camp Youth Volunteer
Every young person should get the opportunity to join Snow-Camp – it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s challenging and most importantly, it is tailored expertly for young people from a range of challenging situations and communities, including those affected by gang and knife crime. XLP have been referring young people to Snow-Camp for several years now and we can’t recommend their programmes enough.Matt Conroy XLP Youth Worker
Through Snow-Camp I have gained so many skills that have helped me find employment in the snowsports industry. Now I don't avoid my responsibilities and I love returning to Snow-Camp each year as a volunteer, instructing the new young people joining the charity. I’ve really grown in confidence and I feel like I can take on any task in the future.Hamza Snow-Camp youth volunteer
I have Asperger's Syndrome and a chronic illness called CFS/ME. Snow-Camp has been a life changing opportunity that has completely changed how I see myself and I have learnt that I can push myself further than I ever thought possible. Snow-Camp is a welcome respite from my responsibilities at home, both physically and emotionally. I have discovered a profound passion for snowboarding, and I can’t wait to further develop my skills.Ashleigh Snow-Camp young person