Earlier this month, a group of clients from SHP’s Young People’s services spent three packed days in Barcelona as part of our Activities Programme.

Before this trip, many of the young people had never been abroad. For some, it was the first time they had been outside of London. 

Tara Carty, Learning and Activities Coordinator for SHP’s Young People’s services said: “The young people we took to Barcelona were so excited and enthusiastic about everything – it was infectious and humbling. 

“Many of the young people we work with have had a difficult start in life, and they may not have the family support or the opportunities that many of us take for granted. For them to experience a different city, culture and food will stay with them and that alone was worth it."

Activities like this are about more than simply giving young people a good time. They help clients to learn new practical skills, grow in confidence, build social networks and to learn about other cultures. 

For 21-year-old She-neil, visiting Barcelona gave her the confidence to try new things. She said: “My experience in Barcelona was absolutely amazing. I have learnt so many new things and met so many new people. 

“In London I’m a fussy eater but I let my hair down and tried so many different types of food that I would never eat in a million years. I am so grateful that I was able to have this opportunity.”

Charlie particularly enjoyed learning about the local culture, and used the trip to learn new language skills. He said: “It was amazing seeing [the Catalonian] culture and I loved learning the language and replying to the local Catalonians.

“I had a mad time – I absolutely loved every minute of it and really enjoyed the hotel. The group was amazing. I loved everyone who went – they were also what made the trip so special.”

Highlights of the trip included a visit to FC Barcelona’s stadium, Camp Nou, as well as sightseeing at Barcelona Cathedral and a special birthday meal for Rosie, who turned 18 while the group were away.

Tara said: “It was interesting to see the group develop and grow, and to see the young people learn teamwork and leadership skills. We met a number of times before the trip and clients were encouraged to take a lead role in planning the activities in Barcelona. We will be meeting again to find out if the young people have continued to develop, and to see whether they have made any changes in their lives since returning to the UK.”