Featuring everything from water sports to bushcraft, the adventure weekends are due to be trialled before the end of the summer holiday, giving staff and mentors a chance to iron out any kinks before opening the service to the public.
The £15,000 was spent on a ‘Veterans’ Hub Adventure Training Store’, which includes four 17ft Canadian canoes, four two-seater kayaks, 8 mountain bikes, 8 paddle boards, fishing gear and camping equipment like bell tents and a field kitchen.
The idea, said, Crimsham Farm director Craig Pinkney, is to provide affordable adventure training weekends for people on a range of budgets and with a range of needs.
“We’re super excited to be running it, “ he said. “Because there isn’t much locally like it and people want to get outdoors at the moment. With the financial pinch we’re all experiencing at the moment, that’s going to become increasingly difficult.
Although the service will start with the families of those supported by the farm, Mr Pinkney is hoping to make the adventure weekends available to other groups, ideally as affordably as possible.
“We’d love to work with children and carers and that sort of thing – provide weekends away for them without the pressures of looking after parents or family. That’s going to be awesome, and so exciting because they might not have had a chance to do this sort of thing since before.”
The weekend getaways will be run by the farm’s volunteer staff, many of whom are armed forces veterans, already qualified in bushcraft, survival skills or adventure training. They will act as mentors for the weekend’s participants, organising and shepherding each exciting activity.
Mr Pinkney hopes giving veterans a chance to practice their unique skills will prove beneficial for both mentors and mentees.
He said: “it’s about providing structure and purpose, uplifting their social, emotional and mental health. We bring them in as mentors, provide the equipment, like the camp kitchen and everything and then we just bring the families in.”