Breakthrough Project

Breakthrough works with young people that struggle to focus in the conventional classroom and takes them on a 3-day expedition to Dartmoor.

Our Club has helped sponsor three students – George Johnson, James Peace and Byron Kadir – to attend this excellent course.

The Breakthrough Project has been designed, organised and run for Rotary by Jack Russell Coaching who have worked in the field of personal development and coaching since 1986. In that time they have worked with over 100,000 people. From their experience they have founded the philosophy of “powerful change, comes from positive people”.

The Rotary Breakthrough Project will see a group of young people taken into Dartmoor National Park to hike from North to South, a distance of 35 miles. After their three day expedition they will return as a team with a positive, more motivated outlook.

This change is achieved during the course of their hike across the moor where they are encouraged and praised for respectable behaviour, motivation and team work. It involves giving them responsibility to navigate, route find and risk access as they cross the moor. In addition they are responsible for taking control of their shelter, water and food each night. In the process of doing so they interact with each other as well as with the staff on a one to one basis in an emotionally intelligent way. During the course of this interaction the staff will challenge their beliefs and values towards diversity.

The young people are taught how to resolve conflicts and how to negotiate a sensible way forward. They are introduced to many strategies that are both visual and practical. This includes the ‘Insights’ theory on how to use colours to reflect different personality types to enable them to adopt the appropriate way of interacting with their peers and teachers. Ultimately enabling them to resolves the issues in front of them.

Each night ends with a group review. This includes understanding the lessons learnt that day and how they can be transferred to everyday situations. At the conclusion of the hike each member of the group announces to the others what they are willing to change in the future and how they intend to achieve their goal.

A precursor to the hike is a visit to the school by the Jack Russell Coaching team to introduce the project to the young people, managing their expectations as well as defining the team’s expectations of the students. The second part of the team’s visit is a motivational speech to the teaching staff. It is important for the teaching staff to understand the changes in philosophy that will emerge from the coming experience. It is also important for the staff to understand the need to resist continuing with a negative attitude to the students in order to enable a more positive relationship to be developed based on their experience during the Breakthrough Project.