Segedunum Dangle 2015
Daringly, North Tyneside’s young people stepped into the unknown and abseiled from the viewing tower at Segedunum fort, Wallsend during the afternoon and evening of Monday 8 June. The annual event, now in its fourth year, is the first major challenge that participants in the Friends of High Borrans Young Leader’s programme face. In addition to presenting a physical and mental test it provides them with an opportunity to raise funds to help pay for their involvement.
Some 70 young people and their supporters made the 36 meter (120 foot) descent from the viewing tower together with Paul Hanson, Deputy Chief Executive at North Tyneside Council and Donna McTernan, North Tyneside Council Health & Safety Officer. who joined the youngsters to get a taste of what is involved in the Young leader’s programme.
From small beginnings in 2012 the Friends of High Borrans programme has grown year on year. The initial idea was for a one year course with 20 participants but the young people involved were so enthused that many asked to return for a second year, becoming mentors to support the new crop of Young Leaders. The same thing happened again and the Mentors become Ambassadors with the role of spreading the word. This year the class of 2012 become Leaders in their own right and will be the first to complete the full 4 year programme. This year some 75 young people are involved, including 6 of the original pilot group who have made it through all 4 years.
Thanks to support from the North Tyneside Learning Trust this year also sees a substantial increase in the number of young people able to start the programme The Learning Trust Chief Executive Kehri Ellis said: “I am delighted that all 10 Trust secondary schools have students participating in the High Borrans Young Leaders Award this year. The skills experience and confidence young people gain on the programme helps prepare them for the world of work and life after school.”
The abseil is the curtain raiser to the really hard work; the residential week at High Borrans Outdoor Education Centre in the Lake District. A range of physical and mental challenges are used to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills as well as improving the participants’ resilience and self-confidence. The highlight of the week is the overnight expedition which is followed by a formal dinner and presentations by each team.
Chair of the Friends of High Borrans Alex Giles said:
”The Segedunum abseil is now firmly an integral part of the Young Leaders programme. It gives them that opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and gives them a real sense of responsibility. For the last four years seeing the Young Leaders grow in confidence, as they finish their abseil, is one of the main reasons we started and developed this programme”