How many of us became paddlers at summer camp? Or found work at residential centres teaching outdoor activities?
Our founder Andy Knight made his first Palm kayaks at Exmouth Youth Camp on the Devon coast.
We recognise the importance of residential outdoor education for the paddlesport industry, and also personally, for the experiences that have shaped our lives.
Outdoor education provides young people with opportunities to experience the world in ways that they might otherwise be excluded from and plays an important role in a comprehensive school curriculum.
The current COVID restrictions from the UK government do not allow overnight or residential school trips. So young people are missing out on opportunities to experience outdoor activities, and the centres which rely on school bookings are not able to operate.
Job losses have already hit the outdoor industry, these centres and coaches are struggling, on the brink of closure. Despite continued efforts from the sector to provide a safe environment, many of these businesses remain shut.
These centres, their coaches and the opportunities they provide may no longer be there when the government is ready to allow schools to resume overnight outdoor education programmes.
The outdoors is for everyone. In recent months, many of us have spent more time in the outdoors, a great help to our physical fitness and mental health during the pandemic. Young people across the country should experience this too – safely and in isolated bubbles.
Join us in supporting residential outdoor education by signing the petition for the government to recognise the importance of outdoor ed. We need government guidelines on how overnight school trips will be allowed again in 2021.
Please write to your MP to ask for guidance to schools on overnight trips and financial support for the survival of outdoor centres. Let’s make sure that future generations have the same opportunities we enjoyed.
Sample Letter to MP: [DOWNLOAD]