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Dear Parents, Schools and Supporters of Cobnor Activities Centre Trust
With the positive news of a vaccine, we start to see some light at the end of the tunnel for us all. However, unfortunately we still have not heard of any positive development or change for Outdoor Education and the provision residential experiences for children. We are advised that this will not be reviewed until February 2021.
Vital opportunities for residential outdoor education have been lost for children all over the UK and these unique experiences are under threat if not addressed. Residential outdoor centres have been under continual restrictions for nearly 9 months, rendering them unable to operate, and costing both jobs and livelihoods. Children and vulnerable people need the space and freedom which these amazing environments offer now and, more than ever in the near future, not only for mental health but for social and economic reasons too. Cobnor Activities Centre, like many other educational centres, offers a chance to find and re-connect with oneself, explore new and exciting adventures through the natural environment, while experiencing a new healthy and challenging activity.
Many first-time experiences, passions and life lessons as a child are gained through a visit to an outdoor centre. Shaping that young person’s future and enabling them to forge better life chances. As a child, I was shaped by the outdoors and my environment, as keen Scout, taking part in activities, which included kayaking and climbing. It was not until I was 16, on a college residential trip to Sealyham Activity Centre, where I was able to discover what I enjoyed and where I wanted to go for a first-time career and employment. Little did I know then where this five-day experience would take me! Not only in my career choice, but also my passion for adventure and travel, that one residential experience set the stage for a lifetime. It was an unforgettable experience, which many cannot explain, but it was certainly “life changing.” These valuable experiences, challenges and skills have enabled me to forge a career within the outdoor industry, supporting me through life's challenges: Dyslexia, separation, stress, anxiety and being a parent. The fundamental skills I discovered while on an Outdoor residential laid a foundation of knowledge and life skills for many years to come.
We need to safeguard these experiences for school children to be able to access in the near future. However, without immediate change in the Department of Education guidance - these opportunities will be lost for early 2021 and, for some Centres, forever. Cobnor Activities Centre has endured a hard and challenging year, with a huge financial shortfall predicted for 2021, due to the uncertainty of schools returning for their residential trips after Easter. Despite the changes and hard decisions we have had to make, we remain positive for the future. We know it’s not going to be the same, however we know we will be on hand to continue to provide these crucial experiences for people to benefit from in 2021.
In light of the current information and financial position, the office and Centre will be reducing its operational hours over the December period and we look to return to normal hours from the 5th January 2021, unless there are significant changes to the advice from the UK government and the Department of Education.
In these challenging times there are a couple of ways which you can continue to support the Trust:
All our activities and Holiday provision for 2021 can be viewed and booked via our website, which is an automated service. You will receive all the relevant booking information, with quick and easy payment methods. Any other information you may require is available on our 'Downloads' page on the website
Should you wish to support us to continue to provide cost-effective outdoor experiences to children and vulnerable adults, you can donate through our Just Giving Page . Any amount will be truly appreciated and will make a difference to the people who attend our services.
Both our main email address email@example.com and our telephone lines will be operational. The email will be checked periodically for important emails from our customers and responded to in a timely manner. Our telephone 01243 572791 is available for our schools and customers for information regarding their current bookings.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank our staff and volunteers, who have committed and supported the Trust through this difficult year, and I look forward to working with you all again in 2021.
Keep well and safe.
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