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intu heads outward bound with Nottingham students

Staff from intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh have helped students from The Nottingham Academy put their survival and teamwork skills to the test as part of the annual Outward Bound scheme.

The initiative forms an integral part of a partnership which is now in its ninth year, between the shopping centres, the Academy and educational charity, The Outward Bound Trust. It aims to help build the confidence of young students, while also equipping them with essential life skills through a three-stage programme.

The course kicked off with a school visit to the Academy where intu mentors had the opportunity to meet with participating students.

Accompanied by the mentors, a group of 36 12-13 year-old students then had the chance to step out of their comfort zones at the Outward Bound Trust site in Aberdovey, Wales. Over five days they were faced with a series of outdoor tasks and group exercises including, gorge scrambling, overnight camping, hiking, jetty jumping and canoeing.

Once they returned, students were then invited for a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of intu Victoria Centre. There they learnt about the wide range of career options available within a shopping centre - from those on the shop floor, to those working behind the scenes in the marketing team.

Commenting on this year’s initiative, Nigel Wheatley, general manager for intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh, said:

“Community is something we’re passionate about at intu, which is why projects such as these are so important to us. Each year, it’s always encouraging to see the transformation of the students from the moment we first meet them, to when they return from the trip in Wales.

“The ability to work as a team is something which has massive benefits in all areas of life, so by helping the students develop these essential skills, we believe it will put in place the building blocks they need to succeed in the future.

“We’ve been a part of this initiative for nine years now but one thing that’s always great to see in addition to the positive changes in the students’ confidence, is the impact the initiative has on the intu mentors that take part in the programme - and this year’s no exception.”

To celebrate the conclusion of this year’s programme, intu Victoria Centre hosted a special celebration evening for all those who took part in the excursion and their families. Nottingham Academy principal, Ged Rae accompanied by other teachers from Nottingham Academy, three intu mentors, Rachel Walker from Outward Bound, and honorary guest, The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Rosemary Healy, were also in attendance.

During the evening the students shared stories of their progress and videos reflecting on the start of the course and the changes in attitudes at its culmination.

To find out more about intu Victoria Centre, visit

To find out more about intu Broadmarsh, visit

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