A walk on the wild side that can lead to a lifetime of opportunity
NOT so long ago Jordan Foley was a shy, self effacing young man who lacked confidence. The sort of youth who preferred the back of life’s queue to the front. Not anymore.
Jordan, 19, from Cheltenham, now has a flourishing career in the Army. He has developed into a gold medal winning Nordic skier barely twelve months after taking up the sport; has represented his regiment at hockey, football and cross country and is the Royal Logistics Corps ‘Young Sportsman of the Year’.
And all because he was chosen by Gloucestershire Police to take part in an Outward Bound course.
Jordan is currently in Kinloss with the national Nordic skiing development squad. His mother Christine said, “We really cannot express our gratitude for the opportunity that has led him on this remarkable path. “Above all else it taught him that the impossible is possible. It just takes determination and self belief”.
Now, thanks to Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the search is on for the next group of 20 young people to take part in the course that transformed Jordan’s life. Links between Gloucestershire Police and the county’s Outward Bound Association go back many years, but pressure on funding from other sources was threatening the future of the partnership. That future has now been secured after Commissioner Martin Surl agreed to invest £20,000 in the project over the next four years as part of his Police and Crime Plan commitment towards helping young people become adults. “It is very important we recognise the positive contribution young people can make to their communities and help them develop into responsible citizens. Outward Bound gives them that opportunity in a variety of ways”, said Mr.Surl.
PC Nicki Dannatt, who is co-ordinator of the outward bound bursary scheme - part of the constabulary’s schools unit in the public protection bureau – said, “Our funding is means tested so there’s never any guarantee it will remain in place. Without a grant from the Commissioner we would not have been able to run the course. Now, we have the security to plan ahead for the next four years. “Outward Bound is great for giving young people more personal responsibility and in doing so increases their confidence. By having two of our staff on the course as well, we hope it fosters a positive perception of the police that they will have for the rest of their lives”.
Alan Hoar, Chair of The Gloucestershire Outward Bound Association, said, "The long standing partnership between the Association and the Constabulary has contributed to the personal development of many young people within our community. We are extremely grateful to the Commissioner for both his commitment to continuing this programme, through his funding grant, and his recognition of the value of outdoor learning through challenging adventure".
The five day course will take place at the Outward Bound Trust centre at Aberdovey early in the New Year. More details on how to apply are available http://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/Schools/Projects%20&%20Schemes/item4104.html
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