TASTE. CLIMB. REPEAT.
Through its team of trustees and volunteers it runs three levels of ‘engagement’ through its programmes: Taste, Climb, Repeat.
As the name suggests, Taste, is an introductory taster session to get a feel for what climbing or, more specifically in this case, bouldering actually is.
The next stage is Climb. This is where volunteer instructors work together with young people to put the meat on the bones and nurture a lasting relationship with climbing.
Over the length of the 10-week course, students develop skills and qualities around three different themes: physical, things like stamina, strength and coordination; social, such as trusting and supporting one another, communicating with and having empathy for each other; and personal, where qualities like reflection, resilience, confidence and problem solving begin to emerge.
And finally weekly drop-in Repeat sessions allow a love for climbing to blossom, with participants able to develop physical, social and personal skills in a safe, respectful and fun environment.
“They develop climbing skills – that’s what pulls people in. But it’s not really the most important aspect,” says Ben. “Instead it’s the connecting and the personal development that comes through climbing. One of the most debilitating things in life is the fear of failure. It’s a barrier to so many things. Climbing is all about failure. You are failing more than you’re succeeding, so it teaches how to deal with failure in other aspects of life and that’s a really important part of resilience.”