Learners believe in a ‘brighter future’ after ASDAN accreditation
We spoke to the Youth Adventure Trust about why they chose to have their programme accredited by ASDAN and how this formal recognition gave value to the achievements of young people.
The Youth Adventure Trust supports vulnerable young people from Wiltshire and Swindon, aged 11-16. Its programme aims to empower and build the resilience and confidence of young people through outdoor adventure activities.
Accrediting life skills
“We were looking for an opportunity to externally recognise young people’s achievements,” says Tessa Woodrow, Director of Programmes at the Youth Adventure Trust, when asked why they made contact with ASDAN.
“The Youth Adventure Programme requires young people to do a lot of reflective work, to venture outside of their comfort zone and develop life skills through a whole range of activity days and residential camps over a two-year period. The commitment and the challenges that these young people overcome is acknowledged and awarded through ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation.”
Boosting confidence for further education
“Many young people who come to the Youth Adventure Trust are from families with complex problems and are deemed vulnerable to lower educational achievement, poor health and wellbeing, and are often lacking in aspirations," adds Tessa. "The ASDAN credits gained through our programme give those students an award that’s widely recognised.
“ASDAN’s accreditation is particularly impactful for those young people who struggle to otherwise feel they could succeed and gain formal qualifications through school.
“Having our programme accredited by ASDAN helps young people progress towards other learning, training or employment opportunities,” says Tessa. “Young people leave our ASDAN accredited programme with an increased ability to cope with change and adversity in their lives.”
ASDAN provides support and guidance
“ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation validated our programme and enabled us to offer young people external recognition for all their efforts. Customised Accreditation has been a very straightforward and responsive process from ASDAN.
“Being ASDAN accredited enabled us to give parents and young people a clear goal to work towards, and enhanced our referral schools’ understanding of our programme aims. This then resulted in young people successfully completing the programme with the maximum number of credits by attending all three residential camps.”
Well-recognised and highly regarded awards
Tessa tells us how ASDAN’s reputation for high quality products added prestige to their programme: “ASDAN enabled us to validate what we were already successfully running, and to acknowledge the impact of our activities on young people. We felt ASDAN was a well-recognised and regarded awarding body and that by offering ASDAN credits we could boost young people’s confidence, helping them move forward into the next phase of their lives.”
ASDAN certificates boost personal pride
“Post-programme feedback shows that the confidence, resilience and broadened aspirations achieved on our ASDAN accredited programme has seen young people successfully move on to college courses, develop ambitious career choices and consider wider opportunities, such as travel and volunteering,” says Tessa. “Many of the young people who take part in our programme would not have previously seen these as options for themselves.”
Kirsty and Callum, aged 16, completed the Youth Adventure Programme in 2018. “The programme really helped me progress as a person,” says Kirsty. “I went to college and now I’m looking at working with kids with special needs. I volunteer at a special school and am taking a course in photography.”
“I feel much more confident and enjoy life,” says Callum. “I’m making the most of it. I want to go on to uni and travel the world because being part of Youth Adventure Trust made me want to do things like this.”
Tessa summarises the impact of ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation on young people: “We would definitely recommend becoming accredited with ASDAN. Our young people really value being presented with their ASDAN certificate, which shows the credits they have gained at the end of our programme.
“Our ASDAN accredited programme helps young people build the resilience they need to face challenges and to believe in a brighter future for themselves.
“Giving our young people their ASDAN certificates is such a positive note to end their journey on. The ASDAN accreditation helps them take their next steps forward to an optimistic future.”