What we do

Inspiring young lives for 25 years

The Youth Adventure Trust has been using outdoor adventure to inspire young lives for 25 years. In that time we have achieved some great things, but why do we do it?

We believe that all vulnerable young people should have access to personal development opportunities so that they can fulfil their potential in the future.

As part of that, we understand that learning in an outdoor environment is a key part of a young person’s development. Furthermore, we have seen how a long-term, early intervention, starting at age 11, successfully equips young people with the hope, confidence, skills and resilience that will last a lifetime.

In the past 25 years we have helped over 3,800 vulnerable young people aged 11 – 14 by providing more than 27,000 activity days (including outdoor activities, music, arts, woodland and animation workshops).

Our Vision

For vulnerable young people to fulfil their potential and to lead positive lives in the future.

Mission statement

Inspire vulnerable young people to: 

  • build resilience;
  • develop confidence and self esteem;
  • learn valuable life skills; and
  • achieve their full potential

through an effective, long term outdoor adventure programme.

The Youth Adventure Trust

The Youth Adventure Trust is a registered youth development charity working with vulnerable young people aged 11 to 16 years old from across Wiltshire and Swindon. The Trust was established in 1992 by David Hempleman-Adams and Major Richard Mitchell, both well known for their record breaking Arctic, Antarctic and mountain climbing expeditions. They agreed that early experiences in challenging themselves through the outdoors had shown them that they could achieve more than they thought. This idea led to the realisation that many young people, for a variety of reasons, often do not have the opportunity to start the ‘believe – achieve’ process and make the most of their lives.

Our Youth Adventure Programme is an outdoor youth development course that provides young people between 11 and 16 years old a chance to try new things and challenge themselves. The programme enables them to experience success, learn to go beyond their own expectations and grow in confidence.

The Youth Adventure Programme

The Youth Adventure Programme is a series of residential adventure camps and day activities over three years, where young people have the chance to take part in a range of activities, work in a team, experience group living and challenge themselves in a new environment. The programme is provided completely free of charge to all the young people who take part.

every child matters

The first step of the Youth Adventure Programme is the Explore Day which is an introduction to outdoor activities and the Youth Adventure Trust.  Following this there are 3 residential opportunities; Mountain Camp, Coastal Camp and Forest Camp.  In the final year of the programme there are 4 Pathway Days, where, as well as taking part in activities young people have the chance to look into other organisations and things going on in their local area.

All activities are run by fully qualified instructors. The Trust recruits and trains volunteers to support the children in all aspects of their welfare.

The programme is designed to challenge and inspire young people, helping them develop their self esteem and confidence. The course emphasises the importance of team work, communication, social skills and learning about taking responsibility. These are the essential building blocks to help young people grow into individuals who are able to make a positive contribution in the future. 

ASDAN Programme Accreditation

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On completion of the programme young people are awarded up to 3 ASDAN credits.  These credits can count towards further ASDAN qualifications in the future, and make a great addition to a young person's CV when they come to apply to other courses or jobs further down the line. The credits demonstrate the effort the young people put in on the camps, and the progress they make throughout their time on the Youth Adventure Programme.

Please contact Tessa Woodrow - Director of Programmes & Development for further information. 

What’s on offer beyond the main programme?

Bursary Scheme

The Youth Adventure Trust recognises that some young people may face financial barriers to taking part in opportunities in their local area once they have finished the Youth Adventure Programme. The Bursary Scheme aims to help reduce some of these barriers. It is a small financial grant available to all young people who complete the programme. This grant can be accessed any time after completing the main programme at the end of Year 9, up until the end of Year 11. Young people can apply to the fund as many times as they wish during this time, until they reach the set limit. The scheme is aimed at enabling young people to participate in positive activities - therefore continuing the development and enjoyment they experienced on the Youth Adventure Programme - through support with relevant equipment, membership fees, transport or other costs.

Mentoring Scheme

Our Mentoring Scheme provides additional support after completion of the main programme for a select number of young people, who would benefit from this more individualised approach as they head into Year 10 at school (age 14-15yrs old).

Trained volunteer mentors are carefully matched with a young person and work with them on a one to one basis within their local community. Although individual arrangements vary, they meet for approximately 2 hours a fortnight, for up to a year, working with them in a personalised way to achieve the most positive outcomes.

With the support of the Mentoring Manager, mentors help the young person to identify goals, and assist them to work towards these. Whilst each young person has varying objectives, all mentors offer empathy to the challenges faced by the young person,and provide support, guidance and encouragement throughout the mentoring relationship. 

 Thumbs up!


I feel more confident about talking to people, taking part in more things to what I would normally. I feel more confident by getting to know myself and who I really am.

Young Person


 Thumbs up!


 Thumbs up!


Although my son had made up his mind that he wouldn’t enjoy camp, he found that he really enjoyed bushcraft and is keen for me to find local opportunities for him to do this again. I feel that he will be more willing to try new activities in the future because of his positive experiences at camp.


 Thumbs up!


I enjoyed it a lot, I am really sad to leave and I really wish it would keep going.



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