Teens O2 Challenge

Written by Hannah Cree, Support Pathway Practitioner

Pretty soon into my role as Support Pathway Coordinator, I heard about the Teens Challenge at ‘Up at the o2.’ This sounded like a real challenge for our teens and one that would require courage! I knew I wanted to support our teens on the day, so I signed up! I thought my support would be from the ground- with two feet firmly on the ground… however I was down to be included in the climb!

I soon rose to the challenge, heights weren’t my favourite thing but if the teens could do it, I could too!

On the day there was a mix of nerves and excitement among the young people. For some, this was their first Caring Matters Now event and their first time meeting other people with CMN. The staff at ‘Up at the o2’ were fantastic and led us through a briefing where we learnt about the design and structure of the o2 Arena as a building which is 365m in diameter and 52m at the summit of the walk way! We were shown how to fasten our harnesses and then began to climb a flight of stairs towards the walkway itself! During this time the boys had very quickly gelled and the young people began to talk about the sports they were involved in. The young people who were meeting others with CMN for the first time got stuck in and were happy to be introduced to each other and continue in conversation!

Among our group we had a young person who used to be a climbing instructor, so he offered to go first! The climb was more tricky than I had imagined, at its steepest it’s 30 degrees, and the climbing involved using one hand to pull yourself up and another to feed your harness through a line- an exercise of multi tasking!

When we got to the top, the view was incredible, and our families and friends who had come to support us looked so small! The teens really enjoyed the platform, and took photos and videos and some called their family and friends while they were up there!

Personally, the way down was the hardest (and I know some of the teens will agree with me!!) Some of the group at the front of the line practically ran down, with our guide shouting after them to slow down! Stepping onto firm ground at the bottom was a relief, but even those who found the challenge the most difficult felt a huge achievement.

We made our way back to the VIP suite of BAR ONE at the o2 where we had a well-earned lunch, it was really great to see the teens mingle with each other and sit together as they had their meal. Not only was this a really great day but our young people have managed to fundraise £9,041 to date! What an accomplishment?! This money provides vital funds for research, raising awareness and supporting our members- a huge thank you for your support!

This challenge served as a task in Level One of our Young Ambassadors Programme and completing this challenge has meant that two of our Young Ambassadors have now completed Level One of the program!! A huge congratulations to Nicholas and Elspeth!

If you are a young person between the ages of 13 and 19, have you considered getting involved in the Young Ambassadors Programme? We would love you to be with us at our next event! The Young Ambassadors Programme aims to develop skills in leadership, innovation, communication, teamwork, building relationships, public speaking and media engagement! For more information click here!