Story and photo by Ruth McIntosh
Endeavour was set up in 1955, by John Hunt and Dick Allcock OBE, who believed in getting young people outdoors away from the daily drudgery of urban homes. They recognised that the outdoor environment is a powerful tool for working with young people.
They felt that, when you get young people out of their comfort zone, you can start working on them and encourage them to experience new things. Endeavour strives to get learners outdoors to engage with their environment.
Hunt was the leader of the successful 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest. Crucially, he did not summit himself, but showed his leadership skills by recognising the strengths of others. Hunt felt that he had been fortunate to get so many incredible opportunities and decided to use his experience to create opportunities for others.
Another founding member was Tony Streather, who believed in the transformative value of nature, led groups of disadvantaged young people on worldwide expeditions. In recent years, since 2010, Endeavour has moved more towards education, but the focus on the outdoors and challenging activities continues.
Recently Patrick Callingham, Head of Education at Endeavour, explained why they deserve additional funding by talking about how and why children are missing from education in parts of Sheffield. He talked about his learners’ attitude to the countryside: that if you go in to the countryside (in a car) you lock your doors, you drive and you don’t stop the car until you get to your destination, you don’t get out of the car because something bad could happen.
Even little practical things:
“You follow a sign that says footpaths then there’s a gate: what do you do then? Or there’s no more signs: how do you know where to go?”
A handful of ex-students from Endeavour are now studying at University. Hadi Homsi, who came to Endeavour as a refugee from Syria, now sits on the board of Trustees.
Patrick strives to share the philosophy of John Muir helped set up Yosemite National Park in America: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir