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Youth Projects: A summer trip to Bendrigg Lodge

Every month, our Youth Projects team run a host of exciting and interactive activities. From cooking to painting; from photos to crafts; coding to tennis; there's always a lot happening for young Cumbrians. The highlight of July? In the middle of a truly super summer of social activities, the team took a trip to Bendrigg Trust for outdoors activities and challenges. Here's what happened.

Bendrigg Trust - Outdoor adventure

Each year our team get together with our young people to take an active trip to Bendrigg Lodge for a day of dynamic activities. The day is designed to be engaging, challenging and rewarding, developing skills and confidence in fresh surroundings.

Rock climbing

To start off the day, the group participated in some indoor rock climbing. Everyone worked well as a team and supported each other to ascend the wall in a fantastic display of courage and strength. We fought on through the classic ‘disco leg’ you get when you’re pumped from climbing and the group was full of encouragement for everyone.

The young people did extremely well learning the tricky belay skills needed and were very reliable keeping the climbers safe. Everyone got involved in some way, as belayers, cheerleaders and monkey-like climbers.


After a quick break, we went up high for abseiling. This proved to be more of a mental challenge for some and an opportunity to swing with freedom from the heights for others. Abseiling is a very personal challenge. Some were unfazed and hung off the edge without hesitation, whilst for others it was a huge achievement to be clipped in and sitting on the edge.

In the end everyone was successful to the best of their ability whilst being cheered on by the enthusiastic cheerleaders below. People First staff even entertained the group during their descent by ‘flapping their wings’.


The afternoon’s activity was canoeing on the nearby reservoir. We all worked together to raft the canoes with poles and straps. Rafting them together ensured they were super stable for those who were a little nervous being out on the water and meant we could partake in a rendition of “heads, shoulders, knees and jump!” without any unintended dunks on the water.

We explored around the reservoir, paddling around the islands formed by the diminishing water. Those who had been nervous at first left their fears on shore. Everyone was happy, relaxed and quickly got into the flow. Paddling in canoes takes a good deal of teamwork and coordination and everyone excelled at this. We all found it quite tranquil being out on the still water, surrounded by trees and sunshine.

Once back on dry land we had a good workout getting the boats un-rafted and carried back up and onto the trailer. Our young people were eager to be as helpful as possible and as a team we were able to get everything put away and tidied.

Thank you

We would love to say a huge well done to all the young people who joined us, everyone showed great resilience, teamwork, and community spirit.

And also, a huge thank-you to Bendrigg Trust Staff who were so accommodating and supportive during our visit.