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We had a wonderful three days supporting the Engagement & Participation Officer from Children’s Services at Neath Port Talbot Council and girls’ rights group ‘Hope’ at their annual residential.

On day one, and after a hearty breakfast we hiked the Cribath ‘Sleeping Giant’. It was wet and windy but that didn’t dampen the girls spirits. Some chill time before a home cooked dinner and team building games, and we headed off to bed.

We woke up early on day two and fuelled ourselves with a full Welsh breakfast before being transported across to Dinas Rock for rock climbing. The girls challenged themselves and conquered their fears. After a packed lunch we got into our wetsuits for gorge walking and spent a few hours of exhilarating adventure in the fast flowing gorges. ‘Hope’ were full of enthusiasm and showed great team spirit in helping their peers and staff to give everything a go, including gorge jumping! Our busy day was followed by a hot meal and an inspiring evening talk from an army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She shared personal stories of bravery and determination and was a great role model for the girls. The day was finished with a birthday celebration for one of the girls, some chill time, another team challenge and an early night were in order after a hectic day.

Time to pack up and get ready to go! But before we left, we had the privilege of an intimate gig with Welsh singer/songwriter Bronwen Lewis. Browen shared her ‘rise to fame’ stories and all the barriers she had overcome to get to where she is today. The girls all joined in with the singing and one of our team had the opportunity to play guitar while Brownen sung. What an amazing morning! The girls gave their feedback to Call of the Wild, had time for another team challenge and a quick lunch before heading home.

The residential gave the girls the opportunity to try out new things, learn new skills and challenge themselves. They formed new bonds and strengthened existing friendships, it was a pleasure to be part of their experience and witness their growth.

- Jannine

31 July 2023