How can we support children in a post-covid world and how do residentials allow us to do that?
Whilst we are all relieved to get back to some sense of post-Covid normality, “around a third of adults and young people said their mental health has got much worse since March 2020.” (Mind, 2022)
According to the leading mental health charity, Mind, connecting and communicating are said to be the two most powerful drivers in helping young people (and adults) overcome feelings of loneliness and improve mental health. Sadly,“9 in 10 young people (88%) have said that loneliness was made worse during the pandemic”.
As we settle into a post-covid world we’re looking at how residential adventures can support young people in re-building their social skills and significantly improve their wellbeing. Fundamentally, we create a safe environment that enables young people to thrive; giving them opportunities to re-connect with friends and themselves.
Why is this so important? Through the years, we have thrived as a species by connecting with others. According to PhychCentral, we need human connection with others physically and emotionally to improve our health and overall well-being.
By bringing young people together on a residential, we create a nurturing environment for them to bond and reconnect in person. After a day of high-adrenalin activities, encouragement, social interaction and laughter, every individual feels a sense of achievement -whether from participating in an activity or bonding with a friend again. The residential aspect of a trip builds on this, and by day two, groups come together.
The way we communicate may have changed but our need for an enthusiastic smile or a friendly hug is essential in building rapport and improving social skills.
Kingswood residentials offer a relaxed, home-from-home environment whereby young people are greeted with a warm welcome and encouraged to effectively communicate with gentle ice-breakers from the very start. Believe it or not, mobile phones are almost forgotten while youngsters fly through the air on our 3G swing or paddle boarding across our lake. It’s wonderful to see how much of an impact a residential experience has, it’s almost a full-proof way of improving communication and a sense of team comradery.
Our adventure activities improve self-esteem by giving young people a chance to believe in themselves and their achievements. Beyond the rush of adrenaline from abseiling down a high tower, the feeling that remains is self-belief: ‘I can do this and I can achieve things’. Our highly-skilled and supportive activity leaders encourage every individual to set their own goals, based on what it is they would like to achieve and to really go for it. Their encouragement has a positive influence even on those who choose not to take on a particular activity; which we completely respect and support at Kingswood. It’s more about the willingness to try something new or difficult that makes the biggest difference.
Our residentials offer a nurturing and thoroughly enjoyable environment where young people are surrounded by positivity throughout their stay. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Author, Neale Donald Walsch); our adventures create the chance to step out of your comfort zone and gain confidence.