Our first speaker in May was Kristina Spindler of the Outward-Bound Trust, which was founded in 1941 by Kurt Hohm, who had founded Gordonstoun School earlier. The Trust is currently the largest outdoor education charity in the country and 85% of the children it accommodates at one of its seven centres are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Its aim is to empower young people and they can take over 25,000 children each year. However, last year they could only take 14,000 due to Covid restrictions. The Trust requires £5 million annually to continue and raises a lot of this from charity events. Kristina mentioned that, at present, there is a large gender gap in instructors and therefore they are presently running a dedicated Women’s outdoor leadership course. She said what a positive effect the courses had on youngsters and that they sometimes changed their attitudes quite substantially.
One of our members felt very nostalgic as she was brought up in Aberdovey where the first centre was based and she used to go to the centre every Saturday morning. And another member said she and her husband are quite involved with the Trust and have witnessed the wonderful work the Trust does with children. They have been invited to some of the charity functions and have listened to some of the children talking about what they have experienced.
An inspirational charity which the late Duke of Edinburgh was quite involved with.