Adventure Centre for Education - Girls 'R' ACE

ACE’s aim is to specialise in harnessing the power and energy of adventure sports and environmental education to broaden the visions and aspirations of the people we work with.

Girls R Ace is an exciting new project which has been set up by the Adventure Centre for Education.

The aim of the project is to encourage more young women to participate in adventure sports. The project will give young women up to the age of 25 the opportunity to try new activities. Am important part of the project is that the young women will be involved in planning the programme giving them a sense of ownership of the activities and bringing the group together. This will create a supportive environment with lots of communication so the participants can support each other through challenges that lie ahead.

Adventure sports provide positive health benefits such as being physically active and mentally alert. This builds confidence. In turn this enhances self esteem, which then provides the motivation to make better lifestyle choices. Involvement in sporting activities also helps with interpersonal skills, such as understanding people better, motivating others and dealing with difficult situations.

The aim is that young women will continue to participate in outdoor activities after working with Girls R Ace and that they may go on to lead activities within their communities and inspire other women to get active outdoors.


Achievements of the Rank funded project

The first year of the Girls R ACE project has been challenging and exciting. The focus of the project has changed slightly from the previous two years, with more of a focus on working with disadvantage young women. It has been possible to maintain good links with existing groups whilst working with new individuals and disadvantaged groups. We have run activities where we have been able to successfully mix young people from different groups and backgrounds. This has caused some issues and we have helped the young people develop and gain new skills to work through challenging situations.

The project has met all its targets for the first year set out by Children in Need. The project has three aims; to improve physical fitness, to improve communication and to improved confidence. The project has worked with 67 young women in the first year between the ages of 12-25. This has been on programmes of a minimum of 4 sessions. The information below show the number of disadvantage young women we worked with.

  • Aged 10-15  = 22
  • Aged16-18 = 8
  • Aged 19+ = 2

Difference 1 – Improved Physical fitness

  • 8 – Experienced significant progress
  • 19 – Have started to progress
  • 5- Are yet to experience progress

Difference 2 – Improved communication

  • 16 – Experienced significant progress
  • 14 – Have started to progress
  • 2 – Are yet to experience progress

Difference 3 – Improved confidence

  • 20 – Experienced significant progress
  • 10 – Have started to progress
  • 2 – Are yet to experience progress


Case Study

A young woman who has benefited greatly from the project is 14 year olds and lives in an area of deprivation on an estate with her mum. We have worked with this young woman through a number of different project previously before we started working with her directly through this project. She was very badly bullied and this lead to her not attending education. She was referred to a local befriending project which is where we first worked with her. She expressed a really interest in outdoor activities and from there we have worked with her through a number of different group. Recently she start attending Girls R ACE activities by herself.

She was very nervous about coming on a residential trip for four days but she decide to come. She really struggled for the first couple of day with joining in with group activities. By the end of camp her confidence had grown along with her confidence in talking to new people. She has made friends with other young people who have had similar bullying experiences and this has helped her feel part of the group and make new friends. On a recent activity with an older group she felt confident enough to demonstrate how to abseil and tie into a rope when climbing. She enjoyed being able to show her new skills and help the group.

Our hope for the future is to continue to support the young person and provide positive role models with the long term aim of working with other organisations to her get back into education for a better future. We want to create positive experiences the she can use to help her overcome problems in everyday life.