The Duke of York succeeded The Duke of Edinburgh as Executive Chairman of The Outward Bound Trust in 1999. The Outward Bound Trust aims to inspire young people to fulfil their potential and instil leadership qualities through challenging outdoor activities. HRH benefited throughout his education from the chance to take part in outdoor activities to develop teamwork and leadership skills, and has always been keen to support the effort to extend similar experiences to more young people.
The Outward Bound Trust is the UK’s leading provider of financially assisted outdoor learning. Every year it provides support totalling more than £2 million to young people throughout the UK. In doing so, it ensures that young people, regardless of their financial background, can benefit from an Outward Bound experience.
Since its foundation in 1941, The Outward Bound Trust has helped over one million young people use the outdoors to develop essential life skills such as confidence, self-esteem, resilience and well-being. These are skills that will help these youngsters succeed, whether in education, work or life.
The Trust has five residential venues located in some of the UK’s most impactful wilderness environments. The locations of the centres (Snowdonia, Lake District and the Scottish Highlands), combined with the talents of Outward Bound’s highly qualified instructors, enables The Outward Bound Trust to create a supportive and challenging environment in which young people can learn about themselves, the environment and ultimately, realise their true potential.
In addition to its work with schools and young people, The Outward Bound Trust also delivers corporate development programmes for adults, including bespoke apprentice and graduate programmes for blue chip organisations such as AkzoNobel, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Unilever and Scottish Water. Designed to improve workplace effectiveness, these programmes have been proven to positively impact upon self-awareness, team working skills and further the employees’ understanding of their organisation’s key values and mission. The Trust also partners with a number of high profile organisations to deliver bespoke community programmes that invest in young people to help develop their employability skills.
As Executive Chairman, The Duke chairs regular meetings with the Trustees and the Executive Team, and hosts a number of events to promote and support The Trust throughout the year.
In September 2012, HRH led ‘The Descent of The Shard’ – an abseil from the top of Western Europe’s tallest building in support of The Outward Bound Trust and The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. The Duke undertook the challenge, an 820ft abseil from the 87th floor to the 20th, alongside 39 others. The total raised from the event was in excess of £2.9 million.
Details of The Trust’s social impact can be found in the impact report.