As the facilities on the farm have developed and expanded, East Soar Outdoor Experience has also grown and diversified primarily to provide a more comprehensive service but also to enable us to run a sustainable business.
With the growth of the business and greater turnover a long standing commitment to give back to the community has been achieved. This has enabled us to host free School Activity Days during the months of March, April and most of May. With current budget cuts, funding for outdoor education is often limited if not unavailable. The result of this is depriving children of the opportunity to connect with nature in a very special structured way, achieving success and consequently having a positive impact on not only the child but his/her family but ultimately the community in which we live. During this year alone nearly 800 children enjoyed the free outdoor activities on offer. The sessions were offered to local schools, brownies, scouts and preschools at no cost to the organisations. These sessions included: Forest School; Pond dipping; Fire making; Outdoor cooking; Team building games and challenges; Animal care; Vegetable gardening; Connecting with nature; Environmental studies etc. These provide for social and life skills development in a relaxing beautiful environment from which both learners and staff have been found to benefit greatly.
At present we are in the process of grant applications to expand our work with local schools. The centre will still continue to offer free School Activity Days during the months of March, April and May, but wish to expand this to include the free delivery of the John Muir Award and National Navigation Award Scheme. It is hoped that successful grant applications will ensure the delivery of these to local schools free of charge.
A support group for parents/carers of children with additional needs meet every 2nd Monday at the farm. It provides parents/carers with the opportunity to meet other parents in similar situations and also offers valuable support.
We are currently able to offer up to 50% discounted rate for children with SEN statements who stay in our catered camping accommodation or Swallows nest. Although we are unable to provide a respite service we offer an understanding and safe environment for families who may find normal camping too difficult.
If you feel that your school or organisation might benefit from our GIVING BACK SCHEME please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help as much as we possibly can. Our GIVING BACK is only possible due to the tremendous support we have received not only from the National Trust but the local community we are fortunate enough to live in.