disadvantaged inner-city young people

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Snow-Camp, a charity for disadvantaged young people, has been supported by Skiers Trust for many years through our Education Access & Development Fund in using snowsports to give young people from inner-city communities across the UK positive futures.

Snow-Camp has, so far, given opportunities to over 11,000 young people. Today it is a mature Charity operating out of snow-centres in Scotland and the north, midlands, west and south of England. It has a turnover of close to £1M, employs over 20 people including apprentices, programme managers and mental health counsellors.

The Skiers Trust gave Snow-Camp its first ever financial support and backed its steady development with significant grant awards every year for over 10 years. Of all the organisations that the Skiers Trust has supported, Snow-Camp has received the most grants, over the longest period and with the largest aggregate total. Snow-Camp’s success for young people fully justifies the Skiers Trust’s judgement in the best possible use of its incoming charitable donations.

But it started small, back in 2003, with a once-in-a-lifetime ski trip for a handful of south London disadvantaged inner-city young people conceived by their youth worker, Dan Charlish, and funded by a forward thinking, innovative Skiers Trust grant.

Its aim, to broaden their horizons and trigger a step change in their futures, was a great success and started the journey to the Snow-Camp of today. Along the way, the programme evolved from residential trips to the Alps into a UK-based training programme at Hemel Hempstead snow-centre, then expanding throughout the UK with the programme developing formal qualifications and into accredited apprenticeships.

Snow-Camp’s programmes give inner-city young people life skills, qualifications, job opportunities, work experience, volunteering opportunities and mental wellbeing support. All base around snowsports.

Many now work in the snowsports industry and some have taken apprenticeships at snow-centres and with Snow-Camp itself.

The programmes give young people essential life skills- perseverance, commitment, patience, teamwork determination and an ability to overcome fear. Snowsports has an almost unique way to motivate.

Young people are put forward to Snow-Camp by youth workers through local youth projects and youth service providers. Youth workers all report that the programmes deliver positive outcomes for young people and add value to ongoing youth work.

For the Skiers Trust, this is proof that using snowsports for Educational Access & Development is hugely worthwhile. Our focus is to continue to expand in this aim, finding more opportunities, helping more organisations to grow, supporting more initiatives.