L really enjoyed Yenworthy. She came back much more confident and with a real 'I can do this' attitude'

J got to succeed at Yenworthy in a way he often finds challenging to do in class. His self esteem really improved

S benefited hugely from this visit. He is definitely within his comfort zone when doing adventurous activities. S has low levels of speech and language skills but this was not evident during the week! Since returning to school, S has enjoyed sharing his experiences and has produced some great writing.

A struggles at school but the opportunity for him to go to Woodlands meant he could succeed just like his peers and even outshine them. He usually would give up easily but Woodlands staff encouraged him to persist and we expect this will change his attitude to school work

S's biggest challenge was her own fear. She appeared at times on the verge of disengaging but was open to supportive interventions and made huge steps forward in addressing her fears. It was a privilege to work with her and her peers strongly endorsed her achievement

J performed wonderfully all week. He seemed to embrace the kinaesthetic nature of the programme, taking on every challenge and engaing in a mature and effective way with our staff. This all surprised his teachers.

T had a wonderful week and triumphed over his concerns about being away from home. His enthusiasm and commitment carried him through all the challenges - a great effort.

A came home buzzing from Woodlands. He learned that he can give anything a try, even if it frightens him and trying new things has made his confidence grow. Thank you for giving him that opportunity.

Since going to Yenworthy, S has gained so much more confidence in herself. She did things I never dreamed she would manage. She said she trusted B (instructor) and talked to him - a real surprise!

I have learned that T can do anything if he puts his mind to it. He has become more confident in lots of ways. He was so brave to leave us and go away. He has come back being much more helpful doing things around the home!

I really enjoyed Yenworthy and am really glad I went. I hadn't wanted to go and leave my family for 5 whole days. I felt scared. My friends and teachers all helped me. The best activity was the zip wire. I felt so proud when I'd done it; I learned to be much braver.

The best thing was caving. I found the jobs we had to do difficult to remember but learned that everyone helping makes it all easier for us to do them.

My favourite part of the week was pushing myself to be the leader when we were climbing the waterfall.. I struggled doing the spaghetti tangle; we really had to try hard to work as a team for it to work. I learned to include others more. I learned a lot about my friend, that he was brave and helpful.

M was scared sometimes but he found his courage and distracted himself by helping other children who were more frightened (parent)

The outdoor learning experiences were great opportunities for him to challenge himself as well as overcoming fears. This was certainly a beneficial trip for M both educationally and socially and he has become more independent in his learning (teacher)

Although I was really frightened, people encouraged me and made me confident. (child)

After completing the high ropes course, T became very calm and collected and offered advice to others, including the headteacher, to help them cross one of the high obstacles. (teacher)

The best thing was spending lots of quality time with my friends, getting to know them better and enjoying the experiences together (child)


Dave Thorne Bursary


Dave Thorne was a qualified and experienced teacher at Woodlands Outdoor Education Centre where he worked for nearly 20 years. Sadly, he died in a canoeing accident whilst on holiday in the Lake District in January 2007.

The Dave Thorne Bursary was set up by Dave's family and friends, under the auspices of the Oxfordshire Outdoor Learning Trust, to honour his commitment to the development of young people and to encourage children to enjoy the outdoors.

Bursaries are available to children and young people needing financial subsidy to attend outdoor education activities with their peers, either at the Oxfordshire Outdoors Centres or at other centres across the country.

Schools should apply following the guidance in the Word document below. The application form should be completed, signed, scanned and returned to the Secretary of the OOLT (forms can also be posted). If approved a letter will be sent to the school to confirm this. Following the residential visit, when the impact pro-forma is returned, a cheque will be issued to the school.

Download the Bursary Application Form here and the impact form here.

Bursaries are available for up to 50% of the OEC's weekly fee (2019 - £170 per pupil with a maximum of £500 per school each academic year)

The Bursary relies for its income on donations from individuals, Trust Funds, businesses and schools and from sponsored activities. To date, since 2007, we have raised approximately £45,000 and supported nearly 300 children to learn at the Outdoor Centres.

We are greatly encouraged by schools who organise a fundraising activity to ensure that the bursaries are able to continue to be provided over coming years; this could be a cake sale, a sporting event or anything you can think of! The OOLT is always grateful for any financial support which can be provided by schools to the Dave Thorne Bursary.

You can donate now on our JustGiving page HERE

Facebook JustGiving © 2011 Roy Nielsen