Didcot TRAIN Youth Project

Explore More Programme

Explore More is a once in a life-time trip to the South of France to engage in a week-long residential programme like no other. This is an intensive personal development programme for the young people. The week involves a high level of physical activity with young people carrying out a combination of farm work and various adventurous activities. These support the young people in developing a range of valuable skills as well as offering the opportunity to experience some really quite magical moments throughout. 

The main aim of the programme is to give young people that may not have had to opportunity to travel or young people that may be demonstrating changing behaviour and ASB and are close or are at risk of exclusion. We will then work with them on life goals once away with the aim to set them on a new path on returning to the UK. We will support them with this through 1:1 mentoring sessions at TRAIN. 

The young people are taxied to the airport together with three of our youth work staff, before taking off to Southern France. For the vast majority of the young people, it is their first time ever on an aeroplane or abroad. The programme involves doing farm work at the foot of the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains, following instructions from the international team. This experience always proves brilliant in developing crucial communication and teamwork skills as well as enabling them to experience how hard manual work can be. In addition to the work, the young people have the opportunity to experience activities including swimming in the sea, canyoning, diving and two days spent mountaineering. This final challenge is particuarly special for the young people, involving building a camp at 2000 metres above sea level and sleeping out in cold temperatures before rising in the early hours of the morning to walk to the summit for sunrise - a huge test to the young people's perseverance and self-motivation. It can be imagined what a fantastic feeling of achievement and self-pride the young people gain upon completing such a trip, renewing their motivation to pursue personal goals on returning to their lives back in the UK. Take a look at how our 2018 programme went! https://www.didcottrain.org.uk/about-train/news/explore-more-2018-report.

Willem Voorvaart, owner of the farm, without whose incredible generosity the residentials would not be possible, described Camp 1 of the three 2019 trips which took place this year as: “probably one of the best Camps we have had in the past 7 years" and we had some fantastic feedback from the young people about how "amazing” the experience was for them.

We take referrals for our Explore More Programme so please fill in the attached referral form if interested. Please note that there are limited spaces based on people's eligibility for the programme. There is no cost to young people and their family's or to the school, it is all completely free. Dates for future trips are yet to be decided.