Nominations open next month (September) for up to 30 young people from Gloucestershire to take advantage of an opportunity that could change their lives.

Previous participants in Outward Bound say the experience boosted their confidence and brought out skills and qualities they never knew they had.

Additional funding from the Outward Bound Trust/Gloucestershire Outward Bound Association and Gloucestershire’s Police Crime Commissioner means an extra ten places are now available.

Shawn Morrison, 17, from Cheltenham, completed the basic course earlier this year and has been offered a place on a further Outward Bound ‘Skills for life’ course at Loch Eil in the Scottish Highlands beginning on August 10 for which he is currently fund raising.

T-shirts in the snow. Shawn and a friend on Outward Bound earlier this year

Shawn is one of 6 siblings living in a small house where funds are tight. He was originally nominated through his school, All Saints, when he was in Year 12. The nomination report from his head of year described him as ‘A kind, caring young man who helps every week with mountain biking classes for younger students as well as supporting and assisting staff with activities they run’.

Shawn said,

“I achieved a lot out of this course, my team working skills have improved a lot and I have gained in confidence.

“I am looking forward to the next course as I hope to achieve a lot more such as greater life skills and I want to push myself even further as well as meeting new people and making new friends”.

Links between the Police and Outward Bound Association go back many years. It is a partnership funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl as part of his Police and Crime Plan commitment towards helping young people like Shawn become responsible adults.

Mr. Surl said,

“It’s impossible to put a value on the challenges and outdoor learning young people can get through Outward Bound which are quite different to those face in their everyday life.

“I’m pleased I have been able to secure its future for the period I am in office and recommend it to all young people and their parents”.

PC Nicki Dannatt, who is co-ordinator of the Outward Bound Bursary Scheme – part of the constabulary’s schools unit in the public protection bureau – said,

“Outward Bound is a unique, once in a lifetime personal development course and because it takes young people out of their comfort zone it gives them more personal responsibility and broadens their horizons.

“We also hope it fosters a positive perception of our staff, who also take part, that they will have for the rest of their lives”.

Alan Hoar, Chair of The Gloucestershire Outward Bound Association, said,

“I was impressed with Shawn’s commitment while he was at Aberdovey, demonstrating leadership skills and embracing the challenges.

“He will have a great opportunity to develop these skills further during his time at Loch Eil and I’m confident that he will grasp that opportunity. This would not be possible with out the ongoing support of the PCC and our partnership with the Constabulary.”

Shawn ran the Cheltenham Challenge to raise money from sponsors to pay for his next Outward Bound challenge and received his medal from Diane Lyle, vice-chair of Gloucestershire Outward Bound Association