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Y9 Outward Bounds cohort

Students from three Bristol schools head for Snowdonia on an Outward Bound adventure

Bristol’s Elected Mayor, Marvin Rees, visited Merchants’ Academy in Withywood on Monday morning to offer words of encouragement to 48 students who were setting off for the Outward Bound centre in Aberdovey for a week-long residential in the remote landscape of Snowdonia. 

This is the second year running that Marvin Rees has helped to coordinate the Outward Bound trip for young people from some of the most disadvantaged parts of the city; and for two years running the trip has been offered to students at no cost, with full financial sponsorship secured from the Society of Merchant Venturers, alongside a subsidy and grant from the Outward Bound Trust and Avon Outward Bound Association.

The students aged between 13 and 15 are from Merchants’ Academy, Montpelier High School and Bridge Learning Campus, and for many, this is the first time they’ll spend a week away from their families and the first time they’ll experience a wild country expedition.

Marvin Rees launched the programme for Bristol schools last year after he himself took part in an Outward Bound course as a teenager, an opportunity that he describes as a key factor in helping him strive to reach his full potential by escaping the city’s physical and cultural boundaries, climbing hills and mountains and experiencing awe.

During the week ahead, which falls during Ramadan, students will face a range of challenges including rock climbing, abseiling, river walks, hiking, camping, rope balancing and water activities. For many of the students who will be facing these challenges for the first time, the bravery, resilience, determination and teamwork required to complete the week-long course will be attributes that increase their confidence and self-belief long after they return home, as they set ambitious goals for the future.

Just a few weeks ago, a further 36 students from three schools in Weston-Super-Mare took part in and completed the Outward Bound course in Aberdovey, with the same full funding provided. Representing Broadoak Academy, Hans Price Academy and Winterstoke Hundred Academy, this brings the total number of young people who’ve been introduced by Marvin to the Outward Bound experience so far this year to 84.

The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity that inspires young people to take on adventures, overcome challenges and develop confidence and self-belief, preparing them to embrace all the opportunities that life will offer them.

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