Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Snow-Camp was founded by Dan Charlish, whilst working for a community development project in London. Recognising the potential of using snowsports and the mountain environment to challenge and support the young people he was working with, he knew that just a few days on the slopes could act as a catalyst for positive personal growth. In 2003, Dan secured funding to take the first 13 young people on a week long programme to France.

Since that life-changing week, Dan has driven the charity forward to support more than 300 young people in London each year. Programmes have developed from an annual ski trip to an accredited series of programmes taking place at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

Today, our programmes provide a much-needed service to youth projects and youth service providers in London, working closely with those in local authority care, the youth justice system, excluded from education and facing a wayward future.

ENGAGE youth by providing a young-people-friendly journey of accredited programmes.
EMPOWER youth with the skills they need to raise their aspirations enabling them to gain qualifications and employment.
IMPROVE levels of accessibility and participation in snowsports for inner-city youth.
PROVIDE a safe environment where youth can thrive, develop and have fun.
CONNECT youth from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds who are based in different boroughs and estates, enabling them to build relationships, experience inclusivity and develop their skills together

FIRST TRACKS - 2-day introduction to skiing and snowboarding with life-skills sessions focussing on independence, responsibility, confidence and self-esteem. Youth gain an accredited Snowsport England Snow Life Award.

GRADUATE - 6 weekends of snowsports training with life-skills sessions focusing on vocational opportunities within the ski industry and presentations from industry representatives. Youth gain an ASDAN Level 1 qualification in Sports and Fitness.

EXCEL - 10 weeks of advanced snowsports training and assessment by Snowsport England. Life-skills sessions focus on working with young people and the theory of teaching snowsports. Youth receive a Snowsport England Instructor Level 1 qualification and their First Aid and Safeguarding Certificates. Excel students return the following year to teach the next cohort of young people.

APPRENTICESHIP - 8 graduates of Excel are provided with full time employment for 1 year at Snow-Camp. They work towards an NVQ in Activity Leadership and BASI Level 1 Instructor qualification.

Through the Aviva Community Fund we hope to improve social integration across London. We deliberately bring young people together from different boroughs and estates to promote living an integrated life and to build cross-borough friendships. Although this has its challenges, experience has shown that once away from their area, on the coach and on the slope at the Snow Centre, territorial bias, cross-borough youth violence, ideologies and gang related mentality can be effectively challenged. The young people are making friends, supporting their peers and independently achieving away from the negative influences that surround them at home.

Our recent research highlights that we must do more as a society to provide opportunities for our young people. Our nationwide study showed that 71% of young people feel they need more support from society to enable them to achieve their potential. 76% stated that there is a clear link between a lack of positive opportunities and an increased risk of young people falling into crime, antisocial and extreme behaviour. With 3 out of 4 young people feeling like there are not the right opportunities for them to succeed, Snow-Camp knows there is more vital work to be done.

With your support we hope to help more young people facing disadvantage in London.

Project Video

Snow-Camp Charity

Moment of Pride

At the end of our last programme year 91% of youth moved on to either employment, training or further education. It makes us so proud to see the positive difference we're making to youth, who reap many tangible, long-term benefits that help them well into adulthood through our programmes.

Location: London


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