TurnAround Essex Graduation and Celebration Evening

TA Essex Graduation Ceremony

We recently celebrated the graduation of TurnAround 7 as well as the success of the second wilderness trail

The celebration was a lovely event and we were pleased to welcome staff, mentors, families, professionals and guides that we have worked with throughout the project.

The evening started with a speech from Jo Roberts, CEO, who explained the history of the project and why we value our work in nature with young people.  Rosie Carpenter, Project Co-ordinator, then outlined the progress that has been made throughout the project and showed a film with videos and photographs so that everyone could get a feel of what we had been up to.

Our graduates then made speeches about their experiences on the project and their hopes and dreams for moving forwards.  Brandon, one of the graduates explained “I enjoyed all the workshops and enjoyed most of my time on the wilderness trails. During the last 6 months and through these experiences I have pushed myself beyond what I felt I was capable of and have leant lots of new things about myself. The main thing that I learnt was that I can overcome my anxiety and finish what I have started. Through completing the project I have a wider range of opportunities and new skills I can take with me into the future. For example, I have become more independent and have learnt how to work better in a team”.

Stef, a former graduate and now volunteer and mentor with the group made an inspirational speech some of which we have shared “I believe that taking the first step of anything in life is the bravest step.  However, sometimes we must take a step into the dark.  Six months ago our graduates did not know where this journey would end but still found the courage within themselves to take that first step.  It seems strange to think that so much time has passed, reflecting on this time there have been difficult times but also fantastic times.  It has been a privilege and enjoyable to work alongside the graduates and to give something back to an organisation that gave a lot to me.  I completed TurnAround four years ago and it helped to make me the person that I am today.  I was keen to give back to these young people the valuable experience and to support them through their TurnAround journey.  I have been honoured to work with the group and have enjoyed some interesting, challenging and amazing moments along the way.  I would like the graduates to remember “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul”.

We now look forward to welcoming the next group of TurnAround participants.

For more information on the project or how to refer a young person please visit our website https://www.wildernessfoundation.org.uk/project/turnaround/

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