Back in October 2016, Lydgate Special Needs School headed to Wales to climb Snowdon for the first time. The success of their expedition gave them a taste for adventure and a craving for challenge. Lydgate School wanted to give more pupils the opportunity take on Wales' highest mountain.
At the Alpkit Foundation, we're pretty keen on getting people to Go Nice Places, Do Good Things. So naturally we leapt at the opportunity to help them out with covering the costs of walking boots, safety equipment, and YHA accommodation at Pen-Y-Pass. You may remember reading about their summiting aspirations back in March; now that their challenge is complete we've been catching up with organiser Ben Walker to see how they got on.
We're all familiar with the benefits of heading out into the great outdoors, we all feel them every time we head out on an adventure, whether it be local hillwalking or heading further afield.
Lydgate Special Needs School were excited about giving their pupils the chance to develop their confidence, tackle their fears, and work together as a team. However there was something even more exciting about this trip: it would be the first mountaineering trip for these students, as well as their first trip to Wales.
For some of the pupils, the Snowdon challenge would also be their first holiday. Ben explained the importance of running the trip at no cost to the students:
Not only is our school an additional needs but pupils also face considerable financial barriers: last year we took a group of to northumberland and two them had never seen the sea before having opportunity access residential experience in safe school-led environment essential for their development.
So after much planning and preparation, the pupils embarked on their Snowdon expedition. Not only did all seven pupils and five staff members make it to the summit (rumour has it some chocolate incentives were involved), but they all still had smiles on their faces when they got there. To top it off the weather was on their side: not a cloud in the sky all day!
The project was a huge success. All of the Snowdon summiters had a fantastic time; made memories that they will never forget; and proudly shared their experience with their friends, family, and entire school by presenting film footage, photos, and individual collages upon returning home.
With the help of the Alpkit Foundation the school were able to run their expedition at no cost to their pupils, making the mountains accessible for young people from low income backgrounds. We were honoured to be able to support Lydgate Special Needs School in their quest to Go Nice Places and Do Nice things. We're looking forward to seeing them out and about on future adventures!
The Alpkit Foundation supports projects that enable people to overcome the obstacles preventing them from Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things.