Outward Bound - An experience of a lifetime.

2022 Outward Bound recipient Ella Lewis-Sandford

"If you are thinking of applying for the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation Outward Bound scholarship, don't think about it, just do it!" said Ella Lewis-Sandford. "You have nothing to lose and so much to gain".

Ella won the 2022 Sumner Ferrymead Foundation's Outward Bound scholarship, and has just returned from the 21-day leadership course. " have always wanted to go, ever since I was a kid, and to be sponsored was just the most amazing opportunity. Because I was fairly fit, I found it more mentally than physically challenging. Having said that, I did wonder how I was going to do a half marathon when I had just completed a challenging three day tramp!"

Outward Bound puts the aspiring leaders into groups of 14, and it is the close bonds that form within each group that helps get everyone across the line. They are also taught the skills needed to achieve each of the tasks. "We were taught to train the brain to think positively, as a positive mind set means you can achieve so much more. We were always 'RASing' each other; challenging ourselves and each other to reframe the situation or challenge we faced. RAS is the reticular activating system; it is responsible for how we perceive things. This was particularly important for me when I had to spend 3 nights in the bush on my own as you had no sense of time, no-one to talk to, and you couldn't move far from you spot. So, I established a daily routine of eating, exercise, and reflection; I spent a considerable amount of time reflecting, and then writing letters to those in my group, along with one to myself which I will receive in six-month's time."

Ella is both a Cycle Safe and Surf School instructor, and hopes to use the lessons she has learnt with her students, especially the need to live in the moment, and to believe in yourself. "Our instructors were great mentors, and I would like to think I could be a strong mentor to the kids I work with."

The Outward Bound Scholarship was sponsored by SBS and the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation. SBS Branch Manager, Brendon McKenna, said the scholarship is strongly aligned to the bank's well-being focus, particularly physical and mental wellbeing as Outward Bound helps build participants' physical and mental resilience. "Because of the strong alignment, and our commitment to the community, we were delighted to sponsor the scholarship again."

"The Sumner Ferrymead Foundation Scholarships and Awards Programme offers academic scholarships for second year university students, apprentice awards for new apprentices, Outward Bound scholarships for both the leadership and adapted programmes, and an environmental award" said John Christensen, a trustee for the Foundation. "This year we have a number of new sponsors, including local businesses; this is particularly rewarding as we are all about locals helping locals."

Application forms for the various scholarships and awards can be found on the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation website; the closing date this year is April 2nd.