Recent developments have led to UK Outdoors issuing the following statement regarding Government’s roadmap to restarting Outdoor Education by Easter 2021.
We know that many outdoor providers cannot operate at the moment but for those AIM Members who are able to operate, we think it’s important to be aware that the Health & Safety Executive are carrying out health and safety spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses during COVID-19. Please make sure you view the video and link to the HSE page to keep up to date and to ensure you are fully compliant.
By calling and visiting premises and speaking directly to employers, they can check the measures that you’ve put in place are in line with government guidance.
Path Hill Outdoors is a non-profit company offering innovative educational and therapeutic programmes based in an outdoor environment. We are known for our intervention programmes for younger people who find the school environment difficult and have been marginalised from mainstream education. We deliver curriculum enhancement days and residential programmes for schools that are designed to match ongoing work in the classroom and organise activities for young people in the holidays.
Path Hill Outdoors registered with Companies House in 2011 so we are approaching our tenth birthday. We have been an AIM member since 2013. Being part of AIM gives us peace of mind. They understand the outdoor industry, our specific needs and being a mutual, fit into our values as a social enterprise.
What I love about Path Hill is the diversity. We work with a wonderful mix of young people, all on different journeys with differing aspirations, skills and needs. Without the requirement to comply to a set curriculum, we can act on the interests of students, respond to seasonal changes, the weather and prioritise a family environment that is both safe and challenging. Coupled with a dedicated staff, a mix of outdoor instructors, artists, play workers and from various trades, I can genuinely say every day is exciting and different.
2020 has been challenging. Path Hill has lost over one third of its revenue. All our summer camps and expeditions have had to be cancelled and we closed for six weeks over Easter. Our work with more vulnerable young people has continued (apart from the six-week blip) and we have been able to focus more on that aspect of our work over the summer and given our students exceptional experiences. We have built tree houses, had overnights on rafts on the River Thames and involved students in all aspects of building a new outdoor kitchen.
During the summer break we put on a fortnight of adventure days for NHS staff and their families. Funded by a local charity, it was our opportunity to say a big thank you to those in the NHS who were on the frontline during the spring. Every day we had four families getting involved in activities such as bushcraft, rafting and woodland play. Each family had an instructor allowing everyone to remain in their ‘bubble’, meals were prepared by members of staff and all equipment was wiped down after each activity. The feedback from the nurses, ancillary workers and general public has been tremendous and the scheme generated a great deal of press interest. We intend to organise something similar for the Christmas break.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to create a lot of uncertainty. We have recently learnt that social groups are limited to six which means that our regular adult groups and pre-school parent and children group will need to be altered to comply with the latest government rules. Our one to one and small group programmes with vulnerable children continues to grow and will be our main revenue stream for this year and probably for 2021 as well. A quieter year has helped us to re-think some of the work we do and how we do it. Without the frantic summer rush of residential camps and expeditions we have been able to focus on quality, re-assess potential demands and needs and invest time into staff training and getting the site ready for the future.
We have recently completed the construction of our new outdoor kitchen with wood ovens. This will greatly expand what we can offer our students and we will develop programmes in outdoor catering, woodland management and metalwork. We are also planning to put on exciting new courses for adults and families once everything is in place.
Thank you to Mark Hillyer, Director at Path Hill Outdoors for providing this interview
Supporting our Members through COVID 19 – UPDATE 7
We hope that you are all keeping safe and well and managing to resume businesses and activities or looking to the future with plans to restart.
Just a gentle reminder to ensure you have the correct Public Liability cover in place before you resume activities, email the team on [email protected] if you have any queries.
Keeping everyone safe
We wanted to remind all AIM Members that whilst we have eased from the initial lockdown there are still some restrictions in place and everyone must ensure that they are adhering to current Government guidelines to keep staff, visitors, and participants safe. Notably to maintain the social distancing required and the hygiene and sanitisation of equipment. We believe that this will significantly reduce the spread of the infection and any possible suggestion that a person has caught the infection whilst on your site or doing your activity. Unfortunately, we have all come across instances where people have breached the rules whilst out and about, whether that be in public spaces or whilst shopping. The team here are available if you have any concerns or queries about Risk Assessments related to COVID 19.
The FCA test case has concluded and we await the Court’s ruling. This is expected in September and we will update Members as soon as we have any further news.
Thank you to all of you who have attended the Zoom calls. These have proved popular and there are planned meetings for the following dates.
Wednesday 9th September 17.30 – Co-hosted with Sam Sutton of New Forest Activities
Wednesday 16th September 17.30 – General catch up
Please let Cath Watson know if you would like to attend on [email protected]. If you have any suggestions for other topics, then please do let us know. The Mutual is here for its Members so please tell us what you would like!
We know that many of our Members have resumed activities either fully or partially, therefore, please ensure that you notify us promptly if any accidents or incidents occur. Even where there does not appear to be any failure or negligence on your part, it is important that we can work with you to investigate and if possible head off any potential formal claim. With the financial difficulties faced by so many, unfortunately this can give rise to spurious accidents and claims as a way of seeking money. We want to protect you all against such issues, so please ask if you have any concerns or need any pointers for risk management. Our Mutual Manager, Sophia, and Account Executive, Ralph would be happy to assist with this so please contact them at [email protected] or [email protected].
If you are adhering to Government guidelines then it is unlikely that you will receive a claim that a person contracted the infection whilst on your premises, or whilst taking part in your activity. For a claim to succeed, the person would need to demonstrate that they did not contract it anywhere else. With pubs, shops and restaurants now open, we envisage that this will be more difficult to prove. Please be aware that if you do receive a claim, specifically for COVID 19 related issues, the Mutual’s supporting insurers have excluded any cover from the Public Liability section of your cover. This means that we would not deal with any claim under the Public Liability cover and you would need to defend or settle the claim yourself; the cover would not respond to provide payment of any fees or claim. We have seen this being excluded throughout the insurance industry as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately we have been unable to change this exclusion for AIM Members.
If you do receive a complaint or allegation concerning COVID 19 related issues, please inform us in the usual way, using the contact information below. Wherever possible, we will assist you with developing a suitable response, including providing you with a template response letter.
For all incidents and claims, please contact the Claims team as follows:
Phone: 01892 888 475
Email: [email protected]
We hope that you are all keeping well and if you have any queries or concerns do get in touch. Thank you for your support of AIM.
Please join our closed Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/798451153625523/
Or follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/activitiesindustrymutual/
The AIM Team
An update on Coasteering
The Govt Guidelines are clear…ish and we know that you are all trying to find ways to make them work for you. We appreciate that Members are finding it frustrating only being able to take out small groups. At present, albeit subject to change, in England, providers can only meet with up to 30 people for non-commercial reasons (funerals etc). Otherwise, you have to stick to the Government Guidelines so a maximum of 6 people (including the guide/instructor). This leaves a group of 5 clients which can consist of a maximum of 2 lockdown groups.
The exception to this is that if there is a lockdown group that has self-isolated for more than 2 weeks previously, you can go to normal ratios.
In their guidance, the Government also says that if the NGB/Equivalent applies for an increase of group numbers, then they will consider it. Surfing England have been successful in this, and last Thursday have increased their ratios to 1:8. The NCC is also considering this and meeting to discuss so please keep an eye on their website for further information.
If you are in Wales, the position is slightly different and you can take up to 30 people out from different households! Lucky Wales.
We hope this update assists. As the situation develops we hope to provide you with more information.
As schools start to break up for the summer holidays we know many providers will be looking at what they can safely offer in terms of out of school clubs. The latest Government advice provided on 10th July 2020 gives more information about the measures required to undertake activities. This guidance is for organisations or […]
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