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Established in 1949, The Dulverton Trust is an independent grant-making charity currently providing funds to various charities offering adventure learning and leadership programmes, with the aim of improving the behavioural and emotional wellbeing of young people. At Pro Bono Economics, we are committed to helping organisations understand and improve their impact and value, and to this end we are in a partnership with The Dulverton Trust to estimate the effect of their funding.

We matched several volunteers from the Department for Work and Pensions to this project; Eugenia Caizzi, Matthew Parish, Samuel Mackley, Nidhi Arun, Dylan West, Opeyemi Otunuga. The team worked on an excellent review of the existing evidence and we would like to thank them for all their work.

The report examines the evidence base to ascertain whether adventure learning and leadership programmes have a positive impact on the self-esteem, resilience and confidence of young people, and shows there is a range of empirical evidence attributing improved social and emotional skills to participation in such programmes. There is wide-ranging recognition of the link between improved social and emotional skills and improved wellbeing.

The report also examines evidence regarding the differing impact of outdoor activities on young people dependent on characteristics such as age and gender. The literature shows positive results for a range of demographic groups but it is not yet possible to differentiate conclusions between groups.

Once again, we would like to thank the volunteer team for all their work on this literature review.

18th September 2018