Agenda item

Exodus Project Update - Martin Sawdon


Martin Sawdon, Development Manager and Co-Founder of the Exodus Project, was welcomed to the meeting.


Members were provided with a brief overview of the project and the work involved since it was formed in 2000 exclusively for children and young people in Barnsley, details of which included:


·         The project had 16 mid week activity clubs happening all over the Town which included dance, drama, sports and games to engage with young people. 

·         Weekend activity camps took place in the Projects own centre in South Hiendley called Jenny’s Field, in order to build strong trusting relationships over a longer period than the 2 hour activity clubs. 

·         Home visits take place every week with the younger children’s parents in order to be accountable to parents and carers and to build partnerships.  Activity clubs are based on ages 8-11 year olds and 11-15 year olds. 

·         The volunteers are across all generations, but members were informed that almost half of the volunteers are young people that attended the activity clubs themselves and wished to become junior leaders. 

·         Partnerships with groups already working with young people in communities where the 16 activity clubs are based.  Including work with schools, ward alliances etc


Members were informed that the Project had moved to new premises at the Methodist Church in Cudworth, which included the relocation of the Charity Shop from Cudworth High Street and was a way to bring the building back into community use. 


Members questioned whether the Church would be available for community events.  It was anticipated that this would be the case and over the summer months and Christmas would be used for a variety of events by both Exodus and from different groups across the North East Area.


Members asked what help was available for children with mental health problems.  They were informed that in every activity session, 15 minutes of education time is provided on subjects such as stranger danger, family help, stress management during GCSE’s and mental health amongst other subjects.


Members congratulated Martin and the Team for all the hard work they do and recognised that the young people coming through to be volunteers themselves was a testament what they do and that their model works. 


Members were provided with an update to the refurbishment of the weekend activity centre,  ‘Jenny’s Field’.  Whilst £500,000 had been secured in grant funding, the cost of having the planned separate dormitory style of rooms would be double.  This had resulted in a change of plans to have a number of smaller separate rooms that tents would be pitched in.  The rooms would also be available to rent out to other groups to use.  Members were encouraged and welcomed to visit the site.


RESOLVED that thanks be given for the presentation and the continued hard work of all those involved in providing this Project.