The Stoneleigh Project set out to support marginalised young adults transform their lives and impact on the communities they lived in. The main intervention was an unusual outdoor retreat combined with mentoring and voluntary work. The unfolding context of youth in society and their transition to adulthood is discussed. The emerging problems encountered by young people 18 to 25 years old are reviewed. The research explores the unusual retreat programme. The findings highlight the effectiveness of this approach to experiential education for many but not all young people. Only one of the partners in the project achieved the goal of social transformation and the role of the adult youth workers in making this possible is identified. The thesis also provides an in depth analysis of the social context in which outdoor education has developed in the UK over the last century.