It has not been possible for most of the activities planned for 2020 to take place, but the Lancashire Association of Boys and Girls Clubs have managed one. During October half-term 6 young people from Lancaster went on a residential course at Ormside Mill outdoor centre in Cumbria.
Sadly – but not surprisingly – most of the activities funded by The Areti Trust at the beginning of the year have had to be postponed. The trustees were therefore very pleased to learn that Lancashire Youth Challenge managed to complete a modified version of their Coniston Challenge over the summer. This enabled 2 separate groups of young people to spend 3 days (non-residential) caving, hiking and ghyll-scrambling – a character-forming experience that enabled them to put lockdown out of their minds for a short time. (And also – a common theme it seems with such mini-adventures – involved them getting very wet!)
One of the projects which the Areti Trust helped to fund this year was the Hadrian’s Wall walk by Lancashire Youth Challenge.
In August a team of 16 young people, 2 staff and 4 volunteers hiked across 50 miles in 4 days, beginning at Hedden-on-the Wall and concluding in Carlisle.
The young people on the walk had been referred to Lancashire Youth Challenge by Lancaster Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Barnardo’s, Lancashire Constabulary, local pupil referral units and schools due to their personal needs and vulnerabilities. They had worked hard in preparation for the walk, building up their fitness, resilience and team-building, and they completed this amazing challenge successfully.
One of the projects which Areti helped to fund this year was “Close to the Wind” – a piece of work made by year 3 children from four local schools working with the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Cumbria-based sound artist, Dan Fox.
Children from Archbishop Hutton’s School, Arnside National School, Morecambe Bay Primary School and Ryelands School climbed Warton Crag in September to listen to the sounds of nature and to learn more about the natural world.
The children’s words and experiences were stitched together to produce this work for Light Up Lancaster; the screen is made from hundreds of strips of elastic, and as the wind blows across them it creates acoustic sounds and visual patterns, while the children’s recorded voices complete the work.
One of the grants made earlier this year was to Morecambe Bay Partnership for a project teaching local primary school children about the fishing history and ecology of the bay. Visits to Sunderland Point have already taken place, with further visits planned in September. Schools involved are West End Primary Morecambe, Ridge Primary Lancaster, Ryelands Lancaster and St Mary’s Catholic Primary Morecambe.
After the visit to Sunderland Bay, the pupils work with About Time Dance Company to create a dance based on what they have learned about fish and the sea.
A group of 8-10-year-olds from Lancaster Boys & Girls Club visited Beacon Fell over the half-term and, despite the rain, managed to have a good time.
One of the activities funded by the Areti Charitable Trust was a day of caving for Lancaster Boys & Girls Club. Over the February half-term they visited Ormside Mill in the Yorkshire Dales and – kitted out in the appropriate gear – went to Thistle and Runscar Caves near the Ribblehead Viaduct and then to the Great Douk Cave.