Young people take on climbing wall challenge to improve mental resilience
18 MAY 2016

Recently our Learning, Skills and Work (LSW) team, took a group of young people to Ackers park activity centre in Birmingham. This opportunity was open to all young people across all St Basils projects who have engaged with the Learning, Skills and Work team and completed courses with them, such as numeracy and literacy qualifications, the Mental Skills Training for Life 10 week programme or are working towards their life skills qualification.

Fitness enthusiast Saber who is a Learning Skills and Work Officer at St Basils led on organising this trip. Saber was last featured on these pages for organising circuit training sessions with young people. Through these activities he proved that activity not only improves physical health but mental wellbeing as well as reducing aggression and improving young people’s outlook for the future.   

The young people got the chance to try out the climbing wall at Ackers Park. Most of the young people had never been on a climbing wall before and for these young people it provided the perfect confidence building exercise. It was also a group trust exercise as climbers ‘belay’ for each other, pulling the rope in or letting it out through the harness as climbers move around.

LSW Officer Saber Ghafoor said: “We wanted to give young people the opportunity to try this activity in part as a reward for all their hard work but also to give young people the opportunity to challenge themselves doing something completely different. A lot of these young people have done the Mental Skills Training for Life programme and it’s just about ensuring that what they learnt on that course, they continue to apply and are reminded of those techniques, as that will help them when they are faced with challenges in everyday life.

These young people all come from different backgrounds and lifestyles and have different capabilities. The one wall was really quite high and a lot of the young people were doubting themselves but every one of them dug deep to find that self belief and everyone climbed it, though some struggled trying to come back down. Everyone said it was good fun though and seemed to enjoy it”.   

The activity also provided a good opportunity for the young people who are all living at different supported accommodation schemes to get to know each other and mix with other young people their own age. After all that exertion the young people were taken out for a hearty dinner!   

Thanks to almost £1000 worth of equipment we have been able to buy thanks to funding secured from St Thomas' Dole Charity, Saber will be providing more in-house activity sessions at more of St Basils supported accommodation schemes, through the 'Sports, Fitness and Well Being' programme he is launching soon!