Real Stories

Participating in outdoor activities at Lakeside

The following real stories focus on the personal outcomes of three young people who have attended a residential experience at Lakeside recently. You can read about the ‘Life Changing’ impact Lakeside can and does have for many of our children and young people.

  • Improves learning, skills, education and employability
  • Increases confidence, personal resilience and respect for others
  • Inspires young people to aim high and set goals for the future
Faahd’s Lakeside Experience

Attending Lakeside gave Faahd a new perspective on life, and inspired his career ambitions.

Elliemae’s Lakeside Experience

Lakeside enabled Elliemae to face her fears and realise she can achieve so much more than she thought.

Tom’s Lakeside Experience

In the past Tom would have walked away from a hard situation. His Lakeside experience changed that.

What difference does Lakeside make?

Lakeside Improves learning, skills, education and employability

Lakeside Increases confidence, personal resilience and respect for others:

Academic research demonstrates that building resilience, this ability to keep going when they face difficult tasks or situations, means young people are more likely to achieve in both school and work.

We are proud that alongside their newly developed confidence and resilience, our young people are also building their social skills and relationships. These help to break down barriers in schools, workplaces and our wider communities.

“I feel like it will show employers what we can do – you know how to work in a team because of this, whether it’s people struggling mentally or physically, we saw it through together

Amy, aged 16, National Citizen Service course at Lakeside

For many children and young people attending Lakeside, education and work can seem a daunting and difficult prospect. Our young clients often come from challenging backgrounds and, for a wide range of reasons, have struggled in school or finding work.

Lakeside is in the unique position to help young people develop the life-long skills and character traits that will allow them to reach greater academic success and, ultimately, to carve out strong careers and work-roles.

If you would like to learn more about the impact of YMCA Lakeside on young peoples lives download our Case for Support by entering your name and email address below.


The skills they develop at Lakeside are the same qualities that employers are crying out for; good communication, effective team work, proven leadership, problem solving, resilience and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude to new challenges.

Overwhelmingly young people tell us how their perceptions have changed. They have made friends with people they might not have engaged with before. They report increased empathy and concern for others, combined with improved confidence in their communication abilities and willingness to connect with people outside their usual social sphere.

Additionally, the nature and depth of their communication changed for the better as they put aside their gadgets and enjoyed the warmth of human interaction face-to-face.

Our Youth Survey Shows:

Lakeside Inspires young people to set goals for their future and to aim high:

Many young people, particularly those from deprived backgrounds, arrive at Lakeside with a very poor future outlook.

They often lack confidence, have low self-esteem and poor social skills. They rarely see a bright future ahead and cannot imagine staying in school let alone having career aspirations. Even more disturbing is how young people feel the future is outside of their control. They feel unable to change the direction of their own lives.

Lakeside teaches them that they can succeed in some of the most challenging situations. Through these real experiences they are encouraged to aim high and set goals.

Our Youth Survey Shows: