A CHARITY that helps vulnerable children in Swindon is preparing for a series of major fundraisers next year.

Youth Adventure Trust, formed in 1992 by Arctic and Antarctic expedition veterans David Hempleman-Adams and Maj Richard Mitchell, has provided life-changing assistance to nearly 4,000 vulnerable youngsters aged between 11 and 16.

This year it has supported 26 children  in Swindon.

Director of fundraising, Louise Balaam, 40, said: "While our young peoples’ circumstances may remain the same, we help them to build the resilience they need to face the challenges in their daily lives. Our programme gives them the hope, confidence and skills to best manage the issues they are facing, and make the most of their future lives."  

“There’s very little out there for this age group and we’re the only organisation that works them for a number of years.

“We have been able to reach young people before they make important life choices.”

Harry Copcutt, 15, is one who has benefitted over the past three years. “When I first joined I thought it would be a great experience,” he said.

“I felt nervous because it was a new change but it would be great to meet new people and I wanted to be apart of it all.

“They were all really fun and they help put you out of your comfort zone but it helped me to become who I am today.

“I got into trouble at school, I was always messing around, I think I got in with the wrong crowd and that made me say things that would annoy people and over step the line. The camp completely changed me it has made me a different person.”

The programme of personal development takes youngsters through outdoor activities, workshops, and residential courses where they can try bushcraft, canoeing and climbing.

Children to camps in the Forest of Dean, Brecon Beacons and Weymouth.

It costs £3,600 every three years to take a child through the course which is why the charity is staging fundraisers like the 10 Peaks Challenge and putting up competitors for the Taylor Wimpey Challenge.

It is also planning to send a team of 12 on an expedition to Baffin Island in the Arctic Circle, where they will attempt a 140-mile ski traverse of the Akshauk Pass in temperatures as low as -25c

People who want to support the trust, based in Swindon, can find out more and make donations through its website youthadventuretrust.org.uk