We were in celebratory mood last night as together with family, carers and friends we celebrated the accomplishments of our TurnAround Berkshire participants, who recently returned from their first wilderness trail

In a ceremony held at Berkshire College of Agriculture, with project staff Dawn Poyser and Leanne Colegate hosting, we brought together the participants in the current intake of TurnAround Berkshire to celebrate the successful completion of the first wilderness trail of the six month long programme.  Watched by families, carers and friends, our trail participants shared stories of their experiences, recounting the highs and lows of the personally challenging wilderness adventure.

The wilderness trail is the core component of the TurnAround programme, featuring twice in the six month course.   The first trail, close to the beginning of the project, has a deep and lasting effect on those taking part, removing them from the day-to-day pressures of life and taking them to a remote and wild location where we work together to start to change patterns of behaviour, mood, self-esteem and self-confidence.   It is this first trail that gives young people the confidence to carry through those changes when they return home, with the continuing support of our staff team and a bank of dedicated volunteer mentors who regularly meet with the participants to help maintain the momentum.

A second trail will come later in the year, when participants will be challenged to take a lead, demonstrating all the skills and attributes that have come to the fore during the TurnAround course, developed through a series of workshops, socials and activities.

Our thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the achievements of our young people, and hearty congratulations to all our participants on their accomplishments.

A selection of photos from the evening are shown below.   Congratulations to all our recipients.