What do you think Brathay does? Do you know us primarily for one thing?
Maybe you’re aware of our work with children and young people - the outdoor education work and residential programmes run at our Lake District centres. Or our community work with young people and families in Bradford or Barrow. Perhaps you’ve spent time with us on one of our programmes for corporate groups, or enjoyed a B&B stay Brathay Hall. We could simply be the name behind various challenge events, such as the Windermere Marathon.
So, which one is right?
All of them. We’re a social enterprise, improving wellbeing for everyone who comes into contact with us, using a surprisingly broad range of activities to support our charitable remit – to improve the life chances of children, young people and families, by inspiring them to engage positively in their communities. We know that everyone has the capacity to do extraordinary things that can inspire and benefit others.
Our work with children, young people and families is central to Brathay’s purpose. Every year we help thousands of young people to make positive choices that will change their lives by:
- helping young people and their families overcome barriers they face on their path into education, training or work;
- supporting young people at risk of exploitation, criminality and abuse giving them the strength to make positive choices and take control of their lives; and,
- working with young people in their communities and offering inspirational residential experiences at Brathay that transforms their outlook.
Focusing on each individual’s strengths through powerful experiences and structured support in the community, we inspire young people to realise their potential and develop a range of skills that raise aspirations and benefit the people around them.
To do that, we need money – which is where all the other activities come in. We put a great deal of effort into securing the income needed to keep us going, through seeking funding from grant-giving organisations, local authorities, individual donors, and other channels.
That income only goes so far, though. To allow us to carry out our vital work, we do all the other things that you might know us for, too.
Our work with people and organisations is not only of the highest quality, but also a perfect example of Corporate Social Responsibility in action for our clients, as profits from these programmes supports or core work.
We run programmes with schools and academies, supporting their students through their development and enhancing their leadership capabilities.
Our B&B facilities at Brathay Hall are there for our corporate guests, but when they aren’t being used for development programmes, the extra income achieved through availability to the public is hugely valuable in supporting our work – especially during the difficult time since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the spring. Similarly, conference facilities hire, and use of our amazing and beautiful site on the edge of Windermere for events and even wedding receptions, all help us to keep going.
Then there’s our amazing challenge events. With more than a decade of experience delivering the Windermere Marathon, and the incredible 10in10 challenge (10 marathons in 10 days around Windermere), we have expanded our events range to include cycling, rowing and walking challenges, as well as further running events, providing income through entry fees and the valuable fundraising efforts of participants.
All these supporting activities have something in common, other than simply bringing in additional revenue for us – they are truly valued by our clients.
Our staff team are hugely experienced and professional, and everything we do is of the highest standard. School groups return to us year after year, impressed and reassured by our continued ability to achieve the outcomes they seek for their students.
The long-term relationships (some for decades) we have built with our corporate clients allow them to get more involved and support us in other ways, too. We are their partners – trusted to help them deliver great business performance by developing a skilled, collaborative and engaged workforce via personal, team and leadership programmes.
The feedback from our B&B and self-catering guests reflects the fantastic experiences they have with us – they’re loving the location, facilities and friendly professionalism of our staff, and are reassured by our care and attention to detail.
Our Challenge events are consistently praised for the high quality organisation and delivery. Even in the hugely difficult and complex period of the last few months, we’ve successfully delivered events including the Ambleside Trail 60 and Langdale Marathon, receiving enthusiastic praise for our careful planning, delivery and safety precautions.
So, Brathay is surprisingly complex, but also beautifully simple - the flexibility of our commercial lines supports our core youth work.
We’re in the process of revamping our web presence to better reflect this too - after all, we are one Brathay, even if we do mean different things to different people. By explaining our social enterprise model more clearly we hope everyone, across all our touchpoints with individuals, groups and organisations, will be able to better to understand the amazing work we do, and how their involvement is a vital part of the jigsaw of support that keeps us going – and thriving.
Where do you fit..?