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The Outdoors Project West Sussex Franchise End of Year Round-Up

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We've had an incredible 2019 here The Outdoors Project - West Sussex and we wanted to fill you in on all the happenings, look back to share some of our achievements and give you a glimpse into what to expect in 2020. We're very proud of how far we've come and super excited for what's in store next year! To start with, we've been doing some number-crunching and thanks to the support of all the wonderful parents, guardians and carers and most importantly, our fantastic kids that attend the clubs, workshops and activity days, these are a few of the headline accomplishments for 2019...

After School Clubs

5 new clubs this year and two more starting in Jan, so 20 schools now hosting ODP clubs every week! Over 500 clubs run over the year. Over 300 kids attending clubs every week.

Birthday Parties

40+ run in parks, woods and homes which means 500+ children going wild at weekends with the ODP team

Holiday Clubs

4 locations in 2019 with some of our sessions welcoming 40+ children (although we love groups of all sizes!) The numbers in attendance over the summer gave us the confidence to experiment with two locations simultaneously for October Half Term, Rob leading in Buckingham Park and Kieran leading in Victoria Park. The experiment paid off and both clubs had tonnes of kids keeping us on our toes, getting the most out of autumnal days spent in the best of ways – outdoors, making friends and hopefully getting the best night's sleep of the half term! Following the success of the summer and half term we're now going to run in both Worthing and Shoreham throughout every school holiday of 2020, meaning we're always close to our parents. We hope to see your kids there!

Ofsted

Also in 2019 the West Sussex branch of The Outdoors Project became fully Ofsted registered!   We feel this certification gives greater confidence to the parents that we're adhering to best practices in all areas, as well as bringing the added benefit that we can now accept childcare vouchers at all of our clubs.

Community Events

We had the pleasure of taking the time-trial Outdoors Project obstacle course to countless school summer fairs over the summer, Rob reckons he personally ran the course over 500 times! Be sure to say hi if you see us next summer! We ran NERF battles for the second year running at the Tot Rockin Beats Old-School Block Party at the Brighton Open Air Theatre,  and had an Outdoors Project stand at the Worthing Wormhole Comicon for the second year running. At the Comicon we ran a Harry Potter Wand Whittling Workshop which went down really well for all those that got involved. Great fun for the kids and us! Keep an eye out for us at events next year, and let us know if there's stuff coming up that you think we should get involved in.

School Workshops

Outdoor workshops give an amazing opportunity to encourage, confidence, leadership skills, resilience, friendship, teamwork, exercise, creativity, imagination and above all help the children to learn new skills in the most engaging way possible whilst having loads if fun! The kids had an amazing time at our Mayan Workshop for Year 6 at Steyning Primary this year, as did the Junior kids at The Towers School when we ran some Robin Hood themed sessions for them. The wonderful staff at The Laurels asked us to run two half day sessions at the school over the Christmas holiday which have been great fun. We've got a Survival Firelighting session and lunchtime sessions booked for the children at Waterfield Primary School in the Spring Term. We'd love to do more of this kind of work so just let us know if you think we should be talking to your school.  

Tottington Woodlanders

Rob joined the committee of The Tottington Woodlanders back in September; a charity in Small Dole affiliated to the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT). The woodlanders are a group of volunteers tasked with coppicing the ancient woodland to promote bio-diversity and provide product for rural crafts. All the hazel used by The Outdoors Project - West Sussex is purchased from the woodlanders and it's great to be more closely aligned with them. The woodlanders form work parties every Sunday morning to maintain the tracks, coppice, and of course spend some time round a roaring fire drinking tea!  They're always looking for volunteers so if you'd like to incorporate some wholesome outdoor conservation work into your weekends just let Rob know!    

Welcoming baby Lyla

2019 has been a big year for all of us here at The Outdoors Project and none more so for Rob as he and his partner brought baby Lyla, born 6th November, into the world. Rob would like to apologise if it's taken him a bit longer to respond to things, but you now know why!  Lyla is already showing signs of being a chip off the ol' block and can't wait to join the team and get herself immersed in the great outdoors! :)

Join the team

We're always looking for new people to come join the team. If you’ve got a passion for getting children engaged with outdoor learning, pursuits and games, are fun-loving, outgoing yet professional and can always crack a smile whatever the weather, then we’d love to hear from you. Don't just take our word for it, here are some of the things our staff love about working for The Outdoors Project: -

The highlight of my week is seeing the after school clubs I help to run being outdoors, away from the many distractions kids have nowadays, totally engaged and immersed in the excellent sessions we're doing that day. Frequently hearing the parents tell us how much their children get out from the club is music to our ears and I'd encourage anyone who thinks they'd like to give it a go to do so - I've not looked back. - Ed

What I noticed immediately after joining The Outdoors Project, is that it doesn’t matter if it’s just an hour after-school or a holiday club, you experience a real bond with every one of the kids! -Edward

I love seeing how excited the children get about the activities we do - the energy that they have is infectious! Watching the children work together and help each other out is so satisfying to see. The team at the Outdoors Project is amazing, they've welcomed me in as a "family" member and I'm so happy to be working with such a great bunch of people. -Katie

The thing I love most about working with the ODP is going outdoors with the kids after they have had a day of working hard in school and doing some fun and crazy activities, and watching their faces light up with laughter and excitement as they do it! -Kieran

Working for the ODP is fun and not really like work. You get to do great stuff whilst hanging out with great kids in the outdoors. My colleagues are all motivated like minded people and Rob is a top bloke to work for. -Sam

The ODP is a fun and friendly organisation that provides a safe environment where children have the opportunity to explore nature through the great activities they run and also via the limitless possibilities of their imaginations. It is connecting with the children over this last point that I most enjoyed as it also allowed me to free up new possibilities in my own life. -George

I love that we are able to provide a safe space for children, to be themselves, to develop their confidence and to ignite their love for adventure all the while immersed in nature. It’s great to be able to give them support outside of the school curriculum and actually have a lot of fun yourself and rediscover your own playful nature. -Alethia

I love how it's doesn't feel like work and how Rob and the other staff make you feel so welcome. -Dean

I most enjoy getting kids to spend more time outside and therefore less time away from screens. I love building their confidence and helping them gain new friends and to interact with kids of different ages; most of all I enjoy having a laugh with the kids and making sure we all have a good time! -Henry

Working at the outdoors project has been a great experience for me. I have been able to both further develop my appreciation for wildlife but also gain work experience for my career to come. -Howel (14, Rob's nephew :) )

Thanks for taking the time to read our yearly roundup newsletter. None of this could be achieved without YOU! Thank you for supporting us in our mission to engage, inspire and keep kids active outdoors, all year round. Wishing you a all a Happy New Year, Rob and everyone at the Outdoors Project - West Sussex Team x