Ten years ago, a group of parents of who wanted to break away from the conventionality of kids’ play (which was dominated by traditional sports like football and specific clubs), took to Hove Park with Nerf guns and their children and proceeded to play for an hour. This transformed into regular weekly sessions; word got around; and other parents wanted to pay for it. Fast forward ten years and The Outdoors Project has nine franchises across the whole of the UK. From Quidditch matches to den-making workshops; from Star Wars themed days to Wildcraft vs Minecraft themed ones – their activities range from the quiet and methodical to the louder and livelier.
The Outdoors Project offers Ofsted registered clubs for Primary School Children aged 5-11. These non-competitive spaces foster a relaxed environment for children to fully challenge themselves; experiment with new activities; gain confidence and ultimately excel in nature through outdoor play.
And because their staff is at the heart of everything they do The Outdoors Project have now joined the Brighton and Hove Living Wage Campaign. Samantha Smith, Director of The Outdoors Project states: ‘Our staff are a fantastic bunch. A lot of what we do is seasonal – we can only provide full-time work to most staff during school holidays, so staff retention and training is a juggle. We rely on a lot of our staff having side hustles, and we know that this can lead to a continuous pursuit of living pay check to pay check. By offering a higher salary, we can retain the lovely staff members who we’ve discovered and trained and want them to come to work feeling as valued as we value them.’
The outdoors is an environment where kids thrive – they can be themselves and really get stuck into activities. Through these activities, they learn key skills, like communication, risk taking, logic, and practical skills like bushcraft and cooking. But crucially, Samantha highlights that ‘We also think it’s so important to teach children that it’s OK to go outside in all weathers, providing that they’re prepared – “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”. We’re teaching the kids how to prepare for anything, find joy in the unexpected, and to turn a negative moment into a positive one! Giving the kids the tools to do this is such a gift!’.
The Outdoors Project are recruiting, and as Living Wage employer, pay the Real Living Wage, rather than the Government’s national minimum. For further information please enquire at email@example.com.