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YFC Schools Resources is managed by British Youth for Christ - Registered Charity No. 263446, SC039297 and is also a company limited by guarantee (No. 00988200). For more information, please visit www.yfc.co.uk.

Centre Profile

exploRE residential

So, what's going on with this?

It's been really exciting to create this package for schools. The exploRE team, based at Head Office in Halesowen, spend 3 days at the Pioneer Centre near Kidderminster delivering a unique experience for as many students as the school want us to have. We've taken whole Year groups - 140 kids! - as well as more select bands of Peer Mentors. When outside, the students do all manner of crazy activities: climbing, abseiling, zip-wiring, archery... things that challenge them to push the boundaries of what they think they can achieve. And inside, the exploRE team delivers fun, interactive workshops that touch on important issues that impact life in the 21st century. We encourage the students to explore different aspects of themselves - how they handle their feelings, how they relate to others and the place that they have in the world.

What lessons have you learned?

Firstly, that incredible things happen when you just give young people space to reflect. We spend so much time rushing around that we never stop to ask the big questions about what we're here for, whether we're managing things well, how we're dealing with modern life and relationships. The exploRE residential gives ample opportunity for young people to take that time - to step out of themselves and think objectively about things which affect them quite deeply - and we've been amazed at what they end up saying and doing as a result. In our last residential, we ran a reflective zone. The students had 30 minutes to sit at different interactive stations, thinking through key questions or challenges - to do with managing emotions, saying sorry and being grateful amongst other things. What they wrote as a response was so powerful and moving.

Perhaps secondly, doing this kind of thing is just as relevant for teachers as for students. Teachers are consistently amazed at how responsive the young people are. They also tell us that they really got something out of the sessions - that they will go away challenged by the messages of learning forgiveness, perseverance and sacrifice. Great stuff!

What's the future?

At the moment there's a core team from National YFC that deliver this. We'd love to see more centres involved with bringing schools and delivering the material, backed up by our resources. Not every centre has flashing lights and PA equipment, but it would be at their disposal if we did it together! We'd love to see centres using this experience as a way to build relationship and credibility with the local school. So if you're interested, please get in touch!

For more information on the exploRE residential, visit the main exploRE site: www.exploreforschools.co.uk

Contact Details: explore@yfc.co.uk