An Urban Saints Group in Bradford made the epic journey from Yorkshire to the Isle of Wight off the south coast for a few days away together this summer. It was the perfect opportunity for new experiences and to grow closer as a group over the holidays, as Pam Kershaw explains...
"Coming on the trip has been the only time I left my bedroom all summer really!" - Young person (14)
Our Group of 15 girls, with volunteers Pippa and Lucinda, made the long journey from Bradford to Urban Saints Westbrook Residential Centre. The trip was the very first time outside the North of England for the majority of the girls - the ferry ride across the Solent a first time for them all.
We jam-packed our 3 days with activities led by the great team onsite at Westbrook including Archery, Bushcraft, Catapult Target Practise, Swimming and Frisbee Golf! We even made time for a short shopping trip on our last day into Ryde and down to the beach one evening followed by a campfire with marshmallows.
Our time away together also provided ample opportunity for great chats, loom band making, scavenger hunt quizzes and time to eat lots of homemade cakes and sweets made by some of the group helpers from Thornton Urban Saints and Girls Hangout. The theme each evening was 'You are Known' (1 Corinthians 8:13) exploring how God knows us and we can know God.
"Oh, I loved everything" was the verdict of one of our young people, laughing and grinning from ear to ear. "The assault course was my favourite... and the swimming... and the marshmallows. All of it!!!"
It was a massive journey for us all to take but it was worth every minute. Being at Urban Saints Westbrook and being looked after by the wonderful team, made it feel like a home away from home. The whole experience - from the drive down, to the excitement of going on the ferry and all the action at Westbrook was a proper adventure and too good an opportunity for our Group to miss.
"Thank you for the opportunity to go to the Isle of Wight. The girls had the best time and they can't wait for Group to start again after summer!" said one parent, on their return.
Our journey home was much quieter, with some very thankful young people who all slept for the majority of the distance. The entire experience can only be described as an adventure of a lifetime. On the first day back at Group in September, when highlights of the summer were shared, the Isle of Wight trip was top of everyone's list! The only question that remains is "When can we go again?!"
Pam Kershaw - Impact Team Leader, North of England
Looking to take your Group away for a few days? Take a look at what Urban Saints Westbrook can offer you in the months ahead. If you're in need of assistance with the cost, it's an easy process to apply for a bursary so don't forget to ask the team about how to apply: