Raleigh Parent: My child “blossomed and grew into an adult” on Raleigh Expedition
When Molly volunteered on her Raleigh Expedition in Costa Rica in September 2022, she and her family had no idea what type of impact it would have on her life. Molly’s parents have reflected on how transformative the experience was for their daughter, and are sharing how the Raleigh Experience from the parent perspective has been just as special for them as it was for their child.
Q. Why did you first consider Raleigh International for your child?
Molly had always expressed a real interest in travelling as we wanted to find a safe solution that would still give her a sense of adventure. As we’re both in our early 50’s, we remembered Operation Raleigh being on Blue Peter when we were in school. We did some internet searches and found Raleigh International, it ticked all the boxes for us in terms of organisation and safety and Molly loved the look of it.
Q. Did you have any concerns before your child went on a Raleigh Expedition?
All the obvious ones about your child going away so far on their own but again the strong sense of organisation calmed our nerves. However, we both feel strongly that this type of experience is just as much educational as school is and shared Molly’s excitement.
I think by taking an active role in Mollys fundraising and all the preparation gave us time as a family to adjust and get as enthusiastic as Molly did.
Q. How was your child’s Raleigh experience?
As she prepared to go away in 2021, COVID and the company going into administration (in May 2022) meant we had several delays and lots of uncertainty about if it would really happen, but (after Raleigh’s turn in September 2022), once Molly got to Costa Rica and began her Expedition, she had the time of her life.
Q. What would you say your child gained from their experience with Raleigh?
Confidence, independence, mental strength and a belief in herself that wasn’t there before. Molly came home really quite different. Since then, her self-belief has remained and grown which has been amazing to watch.
Q. What would you say to any parent who’s child is considering a Raleigh Expedition?
You need to be committed to it as a family and be totally involved. The fundraising is really hard for them and needs support, it’s a challenge as there are only so many cake sales you can have. That being said it was worth every penny! To see Molly satisfy her desire for adventure, watch her blossom and grow more into an adult knowing that she was safe and cared for was a win all round.