Adventure Plus is an interdenominational Christian Charity that works with over 5,000 young people per year in both residential and non-residential settings throughout the UK.
Adventure Plus is not a typical outdoor adventure provider. It is an interdenominational Christian Charity that works with over 5,000 young people per year in both residential and non-residential settings throughout the UK. Programmes combine adventure and education in order to instil positive values in young people, inspiring them and building their confidence to assist in other aspects of their lives.
Founded in 1990, the organisation currently offers a 100% mobile service from its base in Witney, Oxfordshire. Adventure Plus can bring the adventure to young people on their own premises, support them on adventures at one of its Associate Residential Centres, or take them to remote parts of the country for expeditions.
Adventure Plus offer “Total Adventure” activity holidays to individuals and activity programmes for school and youth groups. These programmes operate during term time for groups and for individuals during the school holidays. They even offer a February ski trip in Switzerland.
Their “Adventure Impact” programmes are designed to inspire and mentor vulnerable young people. Referrals can be made by Schools, Pupil Referral Units, Youth Offending Services, Social Services or Youth Organisations. The needs of the group are discussed with the leader and goals for the programme agreed. If possible a meeting with the group will also be held prior to the programme starting. Activities are selected based upon the needs of the group and the agreed programme goals. Outcomes are evaluated at the start and end of the programmes after which results are fed back to referrers/teachers/parents.
Adventure Plus is licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority and a DofE approved activity provider. They are also members of CCI, an association of more than 160 Christian residential centres and holiday organisations in the UK.
Adventure Plus Associate centres are located as far afield as Shropshire and Monmouthshire so there are a lot of logistical and transportation challenges in addition to the operational challenges of delivering activities such as abseiling, archery, climbing, kayaking and raft building. Executive Director, Jon Cox is keenly aware of the operational challenges of providing a 100% mobile adventure programme in so many different locations.
“From a risk management point of view we have to have an approach that is both robust and flexible. Our team have to be good at exercising judgement in the field as well as making sure that everything gets safely from store to activity base and back again. Our greatest asset, we are told, is our team of activity instructors, both staff and volunteers, who are passionate about encouraging the young people we work with each year, through adventure & education in a positive Christian environment.”
Adventure Plus operate all activities with a minimum of 2 staff, usually on a 2:10 staff:child ratio. A full time team of 15 staff is complemented by a network of freelance specialists and over 200 volunteers. Adventure Plus also offers a unique gap year training programme that provides up to 6 trainee instructors with a comprehensive training programme working alongside their experienced permanent team.
Adventure Plus are currently seeking funding to develop their own permanent adventure base in Oxfordshire. They are in negotiations to take on a 50 acre site that could host a range of land-based adventure activities and offer bunk house or tented accommodation. The location is also within easy reach of a waterfront that could offer canoeing, kayaking and raft building.
A permanent location would allow Adventure Plus to increase their level of provision and improve efficiency by reducing costs on up to 60% of their operations. This would allow them to increase their range of services within SE England but they would still aim to offer a UK-wide operation via their associate residential centres.
Jon Cox selected AIM as their insurance partner for a number of reasons:
“Adventure Plus was an early supporter of Activities Industry Mutual and we valued the idea of insuring with a mutual as this reflects our own approach and organisational structure. We also value the fact that we speak to informed people who really understand the practical needs of our organisation and take a positive approach to risk management.”
More info: www.adventureplus.org.uk