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Companies are urged to back £1.4m campaign aiming to transform young people’s lives

A £1.4 million campaign is under way that aims to change the lives of thousands of young people through creating an accessible, state-of-the-art centre for outdoor adventure education in Milton Keynes.

The campaign, led by the charity Action4Youth, is looking to modernise the existing Caldecotte Xperience centre. It currently delivers outdoor and adventure education to more than 12,000 young people a year aged between three and 24.

Now plans pictured above have been drawn up that repurpose the 30-year-old building to maximise the use of space and create state-of-the-art facilities.

Action4Youth chief executive Jenifer Cameron pictured below said: “Outdoor and adventure education is immensely stimulating forchildren of all abilities. With the changes we are bringing to the centre buildings we will be able to provide fully accessible, practical and comfortable facilities for more young people, all year round, particularly for those with special needs whobenefit so much from their visits to TCX.”

The plans for the centre, based next to Caldecotte Lake, have been drawn up by Milton Keynes-based Benchmark Architects. They include:

  • Wide, welcoming, easily to navigate spaces with wheelchair accessible corridors;
  • Multi-functional spaces;
  • Fully accessible toilet, shower and changing areas;
  • Drying and boot room – essential given the range of watersports on offer at TCX;
  • Improved kitchen and catering areas;
  • Open plan office space enabling accessible job

The initiative has the backing of business leaders and Action4Youth is keen to enlist support from local businesses and individuals to boost the campaign. The charity’s educational employability Inspiration programme already has the direct backing of businesses in Milton Keynes and further afield.

Educationalist and businesswoman Dame Ann Limb said: “The world for young people is difficult to navigate and the experience you get as a young person building your confidence, building your self-esteem from an inspiration programme, having to take on roles that you wouldn’t otherwise get through the work that you do at school is really, really critical to prepare young people for the world of work and for life today.”

Nicholas Mann, chair of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership, added: “It goes a long way to helping them prepare to develop their abilities to work in a team, to communicate with other, all of the skills that business people are looking for from their future workforce.”

Modernising and transforming the Caldecotte Xperience will enable more young people to benefit from its facilities and opportunities, says the charity’s president The Countess Howe, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. “It will give opportunity for all to taste adventure and experience the transformational qualities which participation affords. These experiences can be life changing, they build morale, friendships, teamworking and confidence, and the values of sportsmanship and working together.”

The project is essential because the current building is 30 years old and no longer fit for purpose. “The existing building cannot adequately support the diverse needs of many of the vulnerable children and young people who could benefitso much from accessing the many programmes on offer,” said Lady Howe.

“I am wholeheartedly behind this project and know that Action4Youth really does give life skills, developing that inner resilience and confidence which helps young peoplecope with whatever life throws at them.”

Find out how you and your business can be involved in the campaign. Visit www.action4youth.org

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