Malvern College backs Lost cause

The project is an experiment designed by the Worcestershire institution to encourage pupils to develop resilience and self-reliance

Abandoned at night in a deserted country lane, without the luxuries of smartphones or watches, pupils at Malvern College have taken on a challenge that would certainly impress Bear Grylls.

The ‘Lost’ project is an experiment designed by Malvern College to encourage pupils to develop resilience and self-reliance. Eleven pairs of pupils, each representing a different boarding house, volunteered to be blindfolded and dropped in unfamiliar surroundings 40km from school, camping overnight and using their creativity to find their way back to the college.

The participants raised £2,000, with the first pair home winning the money for their House’s chosen charity. The winners were 15-year-old Jayda Khimji and Chioma Anazoda, who arrived back in 14 hours and three minutes, over an hour ahead of their nearest rivals.

Chioma said: “It was an amazing, confidence-boosting experience, working out a strategy and getting home so quickly. We were surprised at how people helped us whenever we asked: they were very kind to us.”

Jay Watts, Malvern’s Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator, commented: “Many of our pupils fly academically but they’ve never been ‘lost’ in their lives, always having a mapping app to hand, and surrounded by technology. ‘Lost’ made them take the initiative, plan strategically and cope with setbacks. Some went into hotels and shops to ask for directions; others flagged down the police or got hold of maps.”