The Outdoor Place has been in existence for a few years, starting by providing a site for Forest School sessions for groups of Foundation Studies students from Truro and Penwith College. These students had a range of special educational needs, most commonly autism, and an afternoon in the woods did wonders for their mood and their self-esteem. They were able to experiment, take charge of their own learning at their own pace, and savour the joys of freshly toasted marshmallows! We continue to maintain links with the College and deliver training to the Forest School professionals of tomorrow.
The Outdoor Place also worked with the College to train and lead groups of Foundation Studies students through their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. In the summer of 2019, the first group of Gold students completed a four-day expedition on Exmoor, which was awesome! We now deliver Duke of Edinburgh Awards independently. We did have a summer of expeditions planned for 2020, and hope that these will now happen in 2021.
However, once such students leave formal education there are very few places for these students to go to continue their very individual development. We have been working with some of these young adults with a weekly social outing that includes local walks, social visits, and eating out in restaurants. There is also some support with work experience, in collaboration with local business.