GOBLIN COMBE: ‘Jewel in the crown’ reopens
PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 October 2018
Weeks after activities at an environment centre used by children and vulnerable people were shut down, an independent education specialist has stepped in to help.
Alice Tucker has agreed a deal to run activities at Cleeve’s Goblin Combe with Groundwork South, which manages the site, until at least January.
The future of the site, which boasts massive woodland and a 38-bed lodge among other facilities, is clouded with uncertainty after Groundwork South imposed a moratorium on activities from the end of August while bosses review their options amid financial worries.
But Ms Tucker has stepped in, and has begun running activities for children and vulnerable people which connect them with the ‘jewel in Cleeve’s crown’.
She said: “We work with everyone from tiny tots all the way through to people in their 80s.
“Even though the users are entirely different, what we do is pretty similar. It’s just about getting people out and enjoying being active, plus having a purposeful yet relaxed environment where people can chat.”
Ms Tucker also runs sessions for people with learning difficulties or those recovering from addiction, and believes Goblin Combe is vital for helping vulnerable people build confidence.
Groundwork South says it is ‘pleased to have agreed a short-term lease with Ms Tucker to ensure that education services can continue at Goblin Combe’, but it continues to ‘consider longer-term options to secure the centre’s viability’.
Ms Tucker, who hopes to extend the lease after a review later this month, said it would be ‘terrible’ if use of the site was stopped.
She said: “It would be a desperate shame if this was lost. It is a real jewel in Cleeve’s crown having the massive woodland and this venue.
“If it was shut up and nothing happened, it would be a crying shame.
“Where would these children go with their mums and dads, where would the people in drug and alcohol rehab go to have an experience which challenges them in a safe environment?
“Without this, people will be left high and dry and a bit lonely.”
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