Multi-year programmes create lasting impacts

With the incredible generosity of our community of Supporters, students from Alfriston College, South Auckland, piloted a Hillary Outdoors’ multi-year progressive programme.  

Hillary Outdoors’ multi-day, multi-week and now, multi-year programmes support positive youth development outcomes through outdoor education and adventure.  

Our unique point of difference is creating bespoke programmes for schools that are tailored specifically to their needs.  

Students undergo their Hillary Outdoors experience as part of a group they stay with throughout their multi-year journey. Through this approach, we see significant improvements in connection, teamwork and problem-solving. These are tools that empower them to overcome challenges while they’re at Hillary Outdoors and in their everyday lives, post-programme. These tools are also the foundation of supporting mental health.  

In 2023, 57% of students attending Hillary Outdoors required financial support to attend. Through the extraordinary support of our Funders and Donors, along with the Share My Super community, we distributed Hillary Step Scholarships to over 5,500 students, including 80% of students who embarked on their multi-year journey.  

Through surveys, we measured the following life skills increase in the students:

Our multi-year, progressive programmes amplify these youth development outcomes.  

We observed a significant change in the young people who returned in 2023. Some commented that they had started new hobbies or activities as a result of their Hillary Outdoors experience in 2022. One returning student from Alfriston College shared that: 

I’ve changed most of my ways in life. I’ve tried to be more of a leader through the camp and it’s taught me well. I’m showing more resilience and being more confident.” 

Over three years, our multi-year programme builds on the students’ learnings from the previous year. 

“Last year was more day to day. Whereas this year is more like building up to Thursday where we do the overnight expedition. We’re learning skills and how to read maps for when we go up into the mountains and stay out there for the night.”  

Not only do the activities in our programmes progress each year, but a common theme observed from students’ feedback was that they felt like their connection as a group had deepened. 

“We’re closer together, so we have an understanding of each other’s perspective of how we view the world, or how we view life, actually. Everyone’s been more interactive (compared to year 1) especially the ones who were quite quiet last year; including me, I was really quiet, but now I’m pretty out there. Because I see everyone in this camp as family, or as someone I can relate to.” 

They also felt they had grown in confidence and felt more comfortable in a leadership role. The students were also happy to share that they thought their peers had come out of their shells more, understood their own and each other’s weaknesses and strengths, and worked together to overcome challenges. 

This year is the first year that we will have students embarking on not only year one and year two but also the third and final year of their multi-year progressive programmes. We have moved from 30 students to 100 students participating over three years.  

The impact our incredible community of Supporters is helping Hillary Outdoors to create is invaluable! Your support makes these life-changing outcomes a reality for young New Zealanders, and we can’t wait to share their success in 2024! 

Thank you for continuing to empower rangatahi to do extraordinary things!