At the beginning of the summer break from school young people normally expect to “chillax” at the end of the academic year. Relaxing, taking it easy wasn’t on the agenda for the fourteen Young People and four parent / guardians who accepted the invite of the YPC to participate in a Team Building day at the New Anderton Centre. A not-for-profit organisation The New Anderton Centre is managed by Lancashire Outdoor Activities Initiative (LOAI) an independent local charity. The centre has exclusive use of Lower Rivington reservoir for sailing, kayaking, wind-surfing, canoeing and raft-building. At approximately 2km long, it’s the largest body of water for sailing and leisure in Lancashire. A mixture of water and land based challenges had been organised for the day at the centre.

All arrived on time for the 09.15 am start. After introduction to our assigned instructors, Adrian and Sarah, the group were divided into two teams and kitted out in wetsuits, floatation aids and helmets ready for the first challenge “rafting”.

The rafting challenge involves building a raft from a range of available components, launching the raft, sailing to the centre of the reservoir and taking part in a series of races and a range of activities, including the Teams standing on the raft. The exercise tests how well the members of the team work together in the design, build and operation of the raft. It also tests the sturdiness of the rafts construction. One of our rafts began to disintegrate during the races, resulting in one team taking an early bath in the cold water. At the end of the rafting everybody had the opportunity to get wet by doing a running jump from the end of the jetty.


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After a warm shower and a change of clothing we were ready for lunch. Seated at the outdoor eating area everybody enjoyed a packed lunch and refuelled for the afternoon’s activities, tree climbing, low ropes and crate stacking.

We soon realised that what appeared to be the tallest tree in the wood had been selected and prepared by the instructors for our next activity. Climbing holds had been fastened to the tree. The challenge was to climb as high as you can up the tree and then abseil down.  Sounds simple. Not if you don’t have a head for heights or struggle with coordination of movement. Each member of the two teams taking part in the challenge were coached by the instructors, and encouraged by the other team members, to overcome their fears and have a go. Well done to everybody.


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Low ropes are a series of activities that require balance. Working in pairs the team members progressed around the course scoring points for staying on the rope. The participants do not wear safety harnesses on this exercise but have to rely upon their “buddy” to aid them in reaching the support ropes and holds required to transition between obstacles.

Teamwork is needed to be successful at Crate stacking. The aim  to build two towers of plastic crates whilst one, or a pair of, team member(s) balance on the towers as it is being built. All of the team members have to work in unison ensuring that the people at the top of the stack move from the lower stack to the higher and then add, or insert, crates into the lower stack. The exercise is very competitive, or combative, as the teams take greater risks to build the highest stack. The result, an honourable draw.

At the end of the day a tired group said their farewells and made their weary way home. Our  thanks, to the New Anderton Centre Team for organising the day’s activities. Special thanks to our instructors Adrian and Sarah for their efforts to ensure everybody was involved on the day.

Thanks to Karen Hall for managing the bookings, invitations and maintaining the list of attendees.