Trust trips can have ‘quick fix’ and long-term benefits, and adventurous activities and socialising make a direct and long-lasting difference to confidence and motivation.
These typically suffer when a young person is on treatment, and even the most popular, outgoing youngster can find their friends have moved on to new interests and new friends while they were in hospital.
Treatment can be an excruciatingly isolating time; loneliness, shyness and shame over appearance are common as everything it means to be a child is stripped away.
Combine this with the anxieties and fears of parents and family who will do anything to remove pain and unhappiness from the child they love, and it is clear how a lack of post-treatment confidence can seem crippling.
On a Trust trip young people are unwrapped from the cotton wool that has protected them whilst on treatment. They can play, make friends, push boundaries and really laugh. They can be young again.
Deeply personal experiences and worries are shared as many of the youngsters open up to others who have been through the same thing as them, often for the first time.
Being 8 and being 17 are very different, so we make sure young people are in groups with others of similar ages. But the same sense of self-achievement, relaxation, increased positivity and renewed confidence is something experienced by them all.
The same is true for parents who can start to let go and begin to get their own lives back, without guilt or worrying if their child will be ok.