Megan Evans, Abi Evans, Sonney Nicholls, Ashton Beck, Tyler Rawlings, Charlie Reed and Connor Wilson

East Devon’s Community Development team arrange for Honiton SWITCH club members to take on team building challenges in Snowdonia

Two Community Development Workers from East Devon District Council, Alex Gibson and Mark Gerry, have taken a group of seven very excited young people from the council’s Honiton SWITCH club to Snowdonia National Park to take part in a number of team building challenges.

The group departed on Monday August 1 for the Welsh mountains, where they will join the Outward Bound  programme, which is recognised as an excellent opportunity for people to challenge themselves and expand their horizons. Each young person will join a small group of 10 to 11 others from all over Britain and Europe. Over the week they will be supported to develop and reflect on their team work skills as they undertake activities ranging from abseiling and canoeing to rock climbing.

Five members of the group come from the Honiton Heathpark Estate, one is from Whitebridges in Honiton and one is from Ottery St Mary.

The Outward Bound initiative was identified after the SWITCH Easter Challenge, when young people from all three SWITCH clubs spent several nights camping on a farm on the border of East Devon and Dorset. Hoping to build on the outdoor learning theme, Community Development Worker Alex Gibson sought funding support from a number of sources for the potentially life-changing week in Wales.

Parents of the participating youngsters put in a massive effort at Honiton Community Festival, baking over a hundred beautifully decorated cakes in each of their homes and raising over £200 in total. The East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership and East Devon Homes’ Estate Management also donated £750 each. Other support came from Early Help, an initiative to support families facing a variety of issues across East Devon, who contributed £400.

Councillor Jill Elson, Portfolio holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities, congratulated the SWITCH team for their work with young people.

Our Community Development Workers are helping young people reach their own individual potential and to meet challenges they will find in life preparing for a work. Well done to the East Devon SWITCH team and especially the young people for taking up the opportunity.

Councillor Mike Allen, East Devon District Council ward member for Honiton St Michaels, said:

The district council is committed to developing the talents of young people. Leadership skills are taught on outward bound courses and regardless of qualifications or backgrounds, we need leaders employed in all aspects of our society. Among the seven young people sponsored here are future leaders. This experience will be life-changing.

Alex Gibson and Community Development Worker Aaron Clark will be travelling up to Birmingham to collect the youngsters on Sunday August 7.

To find out more about the work of Community Development or Honiton Youth Club email agibson@eastdevon.gov.uk
The Community Development team can be found on Twitter @switcheastdevon @CommunityEDDC or on Facebook: Facebook /SWITCHeastdevon and Facebook/CommunityEDDC.