The Eastside Outdoors Club First Years Success Story

Earlier in the year, the Exeter Foundation assisted the Eastside Outdoors Club with the purchase of camping equipment for their new initiative to assist young people in Exeter in learning to improve their social and communication skills and to show them the importance of their behaviour in certain situations. Since this project was launched early 2011, the Eastside Outdoors Club has successfully complete seven monthly camping trips to incorporate outdoor pursuits in East Devon.

The aim of the club is to help improve young people’s social skills, relationships with families, neighbours and people of authority, which is hoped will help to divert them from possible destructive anti-social behaviour or criminal activity, which so far has deemed to be a great success.

A small team of PCSO community police officers help to run the club, as their experience of community policing allows them to identify young people at risk and to persuade the families that participation in the Eastside Outdoors Club is a great opportunity.

Forty young people have taken part in the programme to date with four PCSO’s accompanying the youngsters. Each month, six young people were chosen to participate on a new adventure, taking them to Exmouth where they trek along the rural disused train track to Budleigh Salterton. The trip offers many activities for the youngsters to get involved with, including food preparation, pitching tents and evening trips to the beach.

The club itself is free of charge to the young people involved. Over the months there has been a remarkable improvement in relationships with the police as well as the relationship with the community. With a constant plea from the young people to go again and new participants wanting to get involved, the club is building a great reputation.

Despite the hard work, lack of sleep and loss of their free time, the police participants would very much like to repeat the programme in 2012. The club anticipate no shortage of young people wanting to join in next year and they believe that there will be a continuing need.

The Foundation is very supportive of the club and are delighted with the success of the unbelievable hard work of the organisers involved.


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