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Free outdoor learning experiences for disadvantaged young people

03 January 2024

Hundreds of disadvantaged young people are being offered the chance to take part in activities like climbing, canoeing and orienteering for free at Grafham Water Centre.

These exciting opportunities will become available after Cambridgeshire County Council secured £42,375 of funding.

The fully funded residential and day visits are being made available to groups of under-represented young people throughout January, February and March in 2024.

The money has come from UK Youth as part of its Adventures Away from Home Fund. The charity secured £1.5 million from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to support organisations across England to deliver outdoor learning experiences to about 7,500 underrepresented young people.

The DCMS said outdoor learning had been shown to increase young people’s attainment in schools and their attitudes towards learning.

The council’s bid for a share of the funding was recently approved.

The places have been made available to groups who are underrepresented, such as young people living in poverty, young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), young carers and looked after young people. Young people must be aged 11-18, or up to 25 for those with SEND.

It is hoped the activities offered at Grafham Water Centre will help young people to develop important life skills like team building and resilience.

The centre – which is run by the county council - has been providing high quality learning outside the classroom activities for more than 40 years.

Last year it hosted more than 14,000 young people.

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of the Children and Young People Committee said: “We are delighted that our application to the Adventures Away from Home Fund has been approved.

“As part of a fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire we want every young person to experience the benefits of outdoor learning.

“These fully funded trips will make these activities accessible to many of those that may not otherwise have the opportunity.

“The facilities at Grafham Water Centre offer young people a chance to thrive by learning new skills whilst also making lifelong memories.

“We hope lots of local groups will snap up these opportunities for the New Year.”

Eligible groups can apply for place now by sending an email to: