Recognising the significant need for young adults to be supported in understanding personal relationships in an increasingly complex world, Rex Chester MBE founded Explore in 2000.
Rex worked with experts at the Grubb Institute to develop a unique programme using a methodology based on youth-led learning.
Starting in Hampshire, with the support of a dedicated team of people and committed community of volunteers, Explore expanded to Dorset, Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Kent, Westminster, the Midlands and Berkshire.
By our 20th anniversary in 2020, we had worked with over 100,000 young adults.
If anybody had told me 20 years ago when I was writing the original concept note for Explore’s mission that, by the year 2020, over 100,000 young adults would have taken part in an Explore workshop, my reply would have been “you must be joking!”. But thanks to the efforts of our professional staff and a great many dedicated volunteers, that is indeed what has happened.
On a slightly different tack, I am occasionally asked what do I think I have learned over the past 20 years that has come as a great surprise. Without question, it would be the fact that 9 out of 10 of the young adults with whom we have had the privilege of meeting tell us “they expect to have a family of their own one day”.
Explore’s mission is to enable them to better understand what is likely to be involved in fulfilling their dreams. Herein surely lies real hope for the future wellbeing of our society.
I count myself to have been hugely blessed that the Good Lord put the Explore ball at my feet all those years ago and has encouraged and supported me to run with it ever since.
Rex Chester MBE, Founder and President