The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, has become Patron of Penryn-based charity BF Adventure. Formerly known as Bishop’s Forum, the charity was initiated by his predecessor Bishop Peter Mumford in 1989 with the aim of engaging disadvantaged young people in the local area and unlocking their potential. Today, BF Adventure continues to use its 60 acre site of historic quarries combined with trauma-informed youth work and outdoor education to support children and young people facing life’s toughest challenges.

The picture-perfect rurality of Cornwall hides disturbing evidence of ingrained poverty and disadvantage that can have a life-limiting impact on children and young people. BF Adventure works with ~ 4,000 children and young people each year, of whom 500 live with multiple disadvantages including poverty and social isolation. Over 200 of this group receive specialist long term support with learning and/or physical disabilities, behavioural challenges, mental ill health, trauma and other issues associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences.

BF Adventure helps these young people on their Journey of Change by using its 60 acre site of heathland, woodland and flooded quarries to enable them to identify their own social, emotional and physical barriers and to empower them to overcome these barriers. The programmes see them identifying their strengths, exploring ways to overcome challenges, building critical life skills and positive relationships, developing resilience and discovering new passions:

“I have been at BF for the last 10 years and I can honestly say in those 10 years BF Adventure have helped me through difficult times in my life and changed my life for the better. It has taught me skills never in my wildest dreams I would have thought about.” – James, Volunteer & former Young Person
“For a child like Hetty (diagnosis of ASD, sensory processing difficulties & huge anxieties) BF offers everything she needs, but that a prescriptive education in a school couldn’t. when Hetty comes to BF I see all that fear, doubt and insecurity just fade away…” – Parent of Young Person

“I cannot speak more highly of this organisation. They provide a vital service which empowers and skills young people who may be highly anxious, severely depressed or traumatised. We have seen young people flourish under BF’s care.” – Lucy Hayes, Therapist and Manager, CAMHS

BF Adventure is seeing incredible life-affirming and in some cases, life-saving impacts, yet there is so much more work to be done and so many more young people to be reached. Patrons play an invaluable role in helping to raise awareness of the charity to wider audiences, engaging with the Board of Trustees and ultimately enabling the charity to reach more young people in desperate need of support. BF Adventure is incredibly grateful towards Bishop Philip and looks forward to drawing on his experience, skills and wider network as it looks ahead to develop its strategy, with an aspiration to double its reach and impact within the next 5 years.

Bishop Philip said: “I am delighted to be asked to be patron of BF Adventure. I have been immensely impressed by the work of BF Adventure, since first I saw it. In any area where many young people suffer from very significant deprivation, low self-esteem and limited aspirations BF Adventure builds skills and confidence and demonstrates to young people just what it is they are capable of. I’m honoured and proud to be associated with it.

“The Bishop of Truro has had a long association with the charity. The charity was set up by one of my predecessors, Bishop Peter Mumford, who recognised the need to find positive ways of engaging with disadvantaged young people. The connection continued under Bishop Tim Thornton’s tenure with a trustee role.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to now play my part in this important work.”