Our Chief Executive, Godfrey Owen, spends the day with a PAYES group as they climb to the summit of Loughrigg in pouring rain to celebrate Another Waynwright Day.
I am standing on the summit of a hill in the pouring rain watching a group of young people proudly wave their banner at the assorted, bedraggled hillwalkers. We are part of the Another Waynwright campaign, run by the Another Way charity to raise the awareness of living in more sustainable ways. Even as I wonder about the hot coffee waiting for me on my return, the young people in front of me, however damp they are, are enjoying being part of something bigger. We take our photos, tweet our achievement and voice, and scamper back down to Brathay Hall, feeling satisfied and proud.
Saturday’s Another Waynwright Day asked people to head to as many Wainwright summits (the summits in The Lake District over 2,000ft above sea level) to raise awareness for living sustainably. It was reported that 153 ambassadors were taking part, involving 600 people, all doing their bit across 140 fells. Brathay was nominated to scale Loughrigg, our local Wainwright hill; other groups were on summits across The Lakes, singing, dancing, doing yoga, making things, and so on, in a celebration of living sustainably.
I am really proud of our group of young people – they are part of a longstanding scheme that we have run for over 25 years in partnership with Merseyside Police. The scheme, known as PAYES (Police and Youth Encouragement Scheme) uses police officers to build relationships with young people who live in communities that have high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour. It is very simple; keep out of trouble, and you get the opportunity for a ‘holiday’ in The Lakes. The holiday is at Brathay Hall, with activities interspersed with learning and relationship building with the police officers, who are of course very different to the uniformed ‘Bizzies’ young people see at home.
After the first trip at age 11, young people are asked if they fancy coming next year…. as long as they keep out of trouble. Many young people come to Brathay three times; the police are confident that the encouragement and relationships made over the critical three years has a very positive impact on helping young people make positive choices in these critical adolescent years. They not only stay out of trouble, but get more involved in positive activities instead, leading to better outcomes for them at school and them engaging in the community.
So, the young people standing in the rain are proud to be part of a campaign, Another Way, which aims to highlight changing the way we live environmentally – by coming to Brathay for a third time, at age 14, they have already taken the first steps to changing their own future.