Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation: Students from Tottenham enjoy three-day residential visit

The Arundel Castle estate provided a welcome retreat for students from London, many of them leaving the capital for the first time since Covid struck to take part in a three-day programme of outdoor activities and experiences in West Sussex.

A group of 25 year-nine students from Duke’s Aldridge Academy, in the Northumberland Park area of Tottenham were given a range of sport, life skills and adventure challenges, thanks to Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation and the Aldridge Foundation charities.

The residential stay was designed to help students from challenging areas or backgrounds to develop confidence and discover new skills.

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Tim Shutt, director of ACCF, said: “We are adamant that the education-rich experiences we offer here are provided to those that will benefit most and this was certainly the case for the Duke’s Aldridge Academy students.

Honing cricket skills

“These young people live in a very urbanised area, some face very challenging circumstances, so to offer them the range of experiences we do here at Arundel was a pleasure.

“For many, the activities were a first for the young people, whether it be their first time away from home, or first go at cricket, but they all embraced them with wonderful enthusiasm.”

The experience was funded by ACCF and the Aldridge Foundation, which has strong links to the development of cricket in communities that have less access to the game.

As well as honing their cricket skills, the students went into the surrounding countryside and woodland to build dens and camp fires, visited the beach and explored Arundel Castle and gardens, learning about the history of the area.

Den building

They were encouraged to focus on their wellbeing, with time and space to reflect among beautiful green surroundings.

Shona Nichols, chief executive of Aldridge Foundation, said: “This was an amazing opportunity for the young people we support to take part in new activities, spend time outdoors, develop new skills and experience different surroundings away from their usual environment.

“Sports and outdoor activities are an amazing way to benefit young people’s health and wellbeing, help build important life skills and increase self-confidence. They are also two of Aldridge Foundation’s main focus areas, which is why this residential trip and our partnership with the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation is so important to us.

“Going forward, we’re keen for this trip to be an annual event, part of our programme to give students, whatever their background, an equal chance to develop non-curriculum skills during their time at school.

“We are actively looking for partners and funds to make this opportunity available for more young people facing disadvantage.”

The students said they had been stuck in lockdown for a long time, so the trip really helped. They enjoyed going somewhere with so much green, compared to Tottenham, and felt it was a positive experience overall.