CN4C at HIGH HEATHERCOMBE
So why do kids from Cornwall come to Dartmoor? "The Why Don't You ...?Club" run by Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change has been coming to The High Heathercombe Centre for the last six years, bringing families who would not otherwise have a holiday to explore the wild outdoors. The club is all inclusive but has naturally attracted high percentages of families with additional needs including single parents, large families, multiple births, those with mental health difficulties, including bereavement, BME communities, those experiencing domestic violence in relationships and those with a parent in or having been to prison. Many of these families experience poverty or are caught in a cycle of economic hardship.
Places for the Heathercombe residential are always booked up because the families love the balance between a supportive place to stay but also where they can learn new things. They stretch their wings as a community and family together - whether that be wild water swimming at Spitchwick, scrambling at Bone Hill Rocks, felt making in the wet weather and fire sticks in the evenings.
Maggie (8) said "We found this awesome goat's skull - it was smelly but we washed it. "
Matthew (11) said "Fire twirlling was great - my Mum was a bit nervous but really proud that I did it."
Floss (5) said "the best thing is all staying in the same bedroom".
Klara (Mum to Alexander 6 and Emelia 2) said "It's great to cook together, eat together and do all of the fun activities together. Everyone seems to look after each other."
Tarn Lamb CEO of CN4C said "It's so important to give these families the chance to come out of their usual contexts. For many Cornwall is not the idyll that it is portrayed to be. When we start working with them about half of the families have never been to the beach - because they can't get there, or don't think its for them or because they lack the confidence to take their children there. Coming to Heathercombe helps them to find a new relationship with nature that they can build on when they return to Cornwall."