Helping young people in need
Are you wondering where your money goes when you join us? Read on to hear our story! In 1987, the then Bishop of Truro witnessed the deprivation around him and felt compelled to do something. The charity Bishops Forum (now called BF Adventure!) was born, turning abandoned granite quarries into a refuge for disadvantaged young people to unlock their potential.
Fast forward to today, and BF Adventure provides life-changing opportunities to hundreds of Cornwall’s vulnerable children and young people facing life’s toughest challenges. Trauma, poverty, social isolation, learning/physical disabilities, behavioural challenges and mental ill health are some of the hurdles.
In 2020, BF Adventure opened Via Ferrata Cornwall on its site! Aside from giving the public, school groups and corporate teams some epic adventures to enjoy, their goal was to generate desperately needed funds for the charity. As a Community Interest Company, all of our profits go to BF Adventure, enabling more young people to be reached. We’re also incredibly grateful to The Cornish Barista’s Quarryside Café; 10% of their sales go to BF Adventure! Who knew that you could make such an impact by flying down a zip wire and indulging in some cake!
The charity work
BF Adventure supports their young people to build crucial life skills through trauma informed youth work in the outdoors. Using our 60 acres of heathland, woodland and flooded quarries, they enable them to identify their barriers and overcome them. They also help them to identify their strengths, build positive relationships, develop resilience and discover new passions! It’s all about building skills and confidence – and making sure to have fun along the way!
“You make my day every time I come here. You are my heroes for courage, self-esteem & confidence.”
“I was homeless before I came to BF Adventure. Everyone was really nice and friendly and they helped me to find somewhere to stay. Through the programme I have become much more confident and I have learnt how to deal with problems. After the course my instructor helped me to find a volunteer position with a local garage and I will soon start an apprenticeship with them.”
Activities like coasteering, watersports, archery and rock climbing are fantastic for building self-esteem, and there are also accessible adventures, with a purpose-built wheelchair abseil ramp and an all-terrain wheelchair…
One of the most popular activities is our Via Ferrata, involving scaling cliff faces, balancing across high wires and zip-lining. This is an incredibly fun way to conquer fears and feel a real sense of achievement, and many of the young people have enjoyed the course…
An example is E, a 7-year-old on a Special Governing Order with his great aunt having been removed from his parents’ home due to neglect and abuse. E is severely traumatised, struggles to feel safe and can present some very challenging behaviour, attempting to escape his instructor and climb high when distressed. He has told us that he would previously climb on top of the wardrobe to escape abuse. E was given the opportunity to try the Via Ferrata and was very excited. He completed the Adventure Zone, earning the record of being the youngest person to complete the course and he proudly showed staff photos. Having the opportunity to achieve is so important for E and it’s been made possible thanks to people visiting us!
Steph was referred to BF Adventure having been out of school for 8 months. She suffered from high anxiety and would often self-harm. She had experienced lots of trauma with the death of a close friend, had a turbulent home life and suffered from alopecia through stress. When she joined BF Adventure, she engaged well in the activities, learning to recognise her achievements. She also made a friend who she maintained contact with. When they followed up 6 weeks after the sessions, she had returned to mainstream school. Her hair had also begun to grow back. Steph said she learned that “I’m more confident than I think I am.”
Work with families
A family day out with us can help fund a family in need to join BF Adventure for a day. There might be a disabled family member, or they may have experienced some other form of crisis. Whatever the circumstance, a day spent in the outdoors with BF Adventure is invaluable. By coming and having fun, you’re making a genuine difference and enabling others to have their own adventures.
The ongoing need
We’re seeing huge changes, but there’s a lot more crucial work to be done! For some of the young people, BF Adventure is their only source of education or appropriate social contact. BF Adventure also finds that as young people gain their trust they also ask for advice about other things, like domestic violence, drug abuse and housing issues. Finally, the pandemic has only compounded the challenges these people already faced, and there’s been a sustained surge in demand for BF Adventure’s support
“For a child like Hetty (diagnosis of ASD, sensory processing difficulties & huge anxieties) BF offers everything she needs, but that a prescriptive education in a school couldn’t. when Hetty comes to BF I see all that fear, doubt and insecurity just fade away…” – Parent of Young Person
Please spread the word
If you’ve already joined us then you’ve made such a difference – thank you! If you’re happy to go a step further and spread the word, even better. Why not encourage friends and family to come, or review us on Trip Advisor, Facebook and Google!
“I have been at BF for the last 10 years and I can honestly say in those 10 years BF Adventure have helped me through difficult times in my life and changed my life for the better. It has taught me skills never in my wildest dreams I would have thought about.” – James, Volunteer & former Young Person
We hope you enjoyed reading about how your money is being used – please know that we are truly grateful.
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