They survived on Ryvita, battled the snow and ice and tested themselves to the limit. But all the members of this year’s Project Challenge team agreed their 11-day trek across frozen Norway was one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. Project Challenge is a Calderdale charity based at Dean Clough, Halifax.
Its aim is to teach basic skills to disaffected young people between the ages of 16 and 24.
It has five rules that must be obeyed:
No drinking, no drugs, no vandalism, no thieving, no violence.
The team of six took part in a series of training treks and had to learn to ski before making their epic journey, which they named “Norway Nights”. This year their training also included gaining nationally recognised qualifications.
Bex Coates, Christopher Green, David Greenwood, Martin Haigh, Kyle Hanson and Jason Silson had to battle with low morale, freezing conditions and the odd blister.
But all made it to the end of their 210km journey. They were led by Pete Dawber and Trudy McLaughlin, meeting guide Mike Cumbbes in Norway.
The group trekked and skied their way across Norway carrying 40lb packs and sleeping in less than glamorous conditions.
Pete said: “The days were long and hard, but it’s called Project Challenge because it pushes young people to their limits.
“It’s not just a team journey. it’s an individual journey.”
Jill Wilson, CBE, spoke at a presentation evening held at The Shay stadium, praising them for their hard work.
“They succeeded because they’re a team, a team of fantastic staff working with fantastic young people.”
Each of the young people were then handed certificates to mark their achievement by former employee Sophie Parker.
Bex Coates, 18, from Mixenden, said: “Itwas amazing.
“We’re never going to forget that experience. It’ll always stick with me.”