Grafham Water Centre celebrates half a century of challenging young people

The Grafham Water Centre is marking its half century

The Grafham Water Centre is marking its half century - Credit: Archant

Families are being invited along to the Grafham Water Centre on Bank Holiday Monday for a celebration open day.

The event has been organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the centre and visitors will be able to try out a range of activities, including climbing, canoeing, archery and sailing.

All sessions will cost £4 per person for a 30-minutes slot and there is no booking required. Refreshments will be served throughout the day and this includes a hog roast, barbecue, afternoon tea and ice creams.

The Grafham Water residential centre was officially opened on July 17, 1969 by the then parliamentary under secretary for education and science, Denis Howell. The reservoir had been opened by the Duke of Edinburgh three years earlier who said at the time: "The centre will help to develop individual personalities and will introduce youngsters to a wide range of activities."

Half a century on, the vision for developing resilience, communication skills and changing young people's lives is still key to the centre's success. It has more than doubled in size from 58 to 125 residential beds and provides a variety of outdoor and adventurous activities for 12,500 young people each year from schools, youth group, families and individuals.

Councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of the children and young people committee at Cambridgeshire County Council said: "I am immensely proud of the work we do at Grafham Water Centre to build up the skills, confidence and resilience of young people from across Cambridgeshire and beyond. I hope that many local residents will come along to join the celebrations on May 27."

Teresa Thorp, from the centre, added: "Every day I see young people overcome fears, and challenge themselves, by getting to the top of high ropes or sailing a boat across the reservoir. I know this experience will change them forever and help them to become more confident and show more resilience."

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