THANK YOU

It has been a tough season, but what has made it worthwhile and fulfilling is the people we work with and for. The staff team this year have stepped up and been enthusiastic, passionate and welcoming despite the challenges and the lovely feedback you guys have given us in person, on Facebook and Trip Advisor has been phenomenal and truly lifted spirits. We share every one with the team and they really appreciate the feedback and positivity and for all that and the smiles you bring, we thank you.

Having only taken over the business by way of a staff team buy-out last summer, we were looking forward to our first year of putting our long held plans into action.

Our core team have worked for South Cerney Outdoor for a collective 44 years and have long believed in the unrealised potential of what the centre could offer and the difference we could make.

We got thrown a curve ball to deal with by a global pandemic, requiring us to close for three of our most important months of the year; by mindless idiots that care only about their own personal gratification and little for other people's property or livelihoods; by a myriad of rules, hoops and regulations to navigate and jump through in order to provide a service that was safe but still fun; by taking out significant loans in order to help the business survive and to protect jobs, which we now have the pressure of paying back.

This year, although not the one any of us planned, has given us the opportunity to review what we are doing, reflect on what we are looking to achieve and to renew our focus on the core things that matter.

It is so easy, as it is in our personal lives, to get caught up in the day to day, adding layer upon layer of ‘stuff' to what you do, sometimes losing sight of why you do it and what actual actions move you closer to your goals, and what other things are simple distractions. This season has provided the system-shock and time that helped us reset and refocus on what is important and our aim of reconnecting people with nature, themselves and each other and holding true to our values…

  1. “Inject some fun and enthusiasm into everything we do” 
  2. “Challenge ourselves every day and make life an adventure” 
  3. “Keep things professional, safe and high quality” 
  4. “Get everyone involved in the experience” 
  5. “Build open and honest relationships with communication” 
  6. “Encourage originality, creativity and distinction” 
  7. “Protect the environment we work and play in”

We look forward to sharing the next 12 months with you… and here is a taste of what to expect...

WINTER HOURS

From 1st October, we will be open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday, with the exception of October Half Term (24th - 30th October) where we will open on the weekend of 24th-25th.

Pay & Play remains bookable online and over the next week, we will be in a position to reopen the phone lines to take enquiries.

October Half Term Courses and Discovery Club are live. Most course places have been snapped up, but we still have some availability on Discovery Club and an Adult Start Windsurfing course (24th-25th October)

LAUNCH MEMBERSHIPS

Over the summer, our introduction of a Launch Membership to allow you to bring your own kayak, SUP or Windsurf, proved highly popular.

You will be pleased to know that over the next week, we will be introducing a great value, annual Launch Membership which will allow you to launch your own craft throughout the year during our opening hours.

Keep your eyes on social media and the website for more details this week.

PRIVATE LESSONS

The autumn and winter months are the perfect time to take your personal water sport skills to the next level with some private tuition from one of our senior instructors.

In the next week, we will be making online booking of private lessons available for sailing, paddling, windsurfing or Paddleboarding for you to book in and accelerate your learning in a two hour lesson with Mick, Jon or Alex.

COFFEE SHOP

Many of you have been asking what the random shipping container, cabin construction is that has appeared out the front of the centre in recent months.

For those of you not in the know, this is our long planned and much anticipated coffee shop cafe - The Lodge. Originally planned for opening in May, we hope to be open in the next couple months to serve you the best coffee, tea, cakes and munchies we can find throughout the year. It has to be the best view of any coffee shop we can imagine.

Keep up to date with develops on The Lodge’s very own Facebook and Instagram pages.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

We are in the final stages of developing plans and raising funds for an exciting new addition to the SCO range of activities.

With planning permission already in granted, we hope to be able to start next season with a brand new high ropes adventure and climbing tower facility on site. Available for both groups and pay & play, it is something we are all looking forward to.

We are excited to be able to share the details with you as they start to fall into place.

APPRENTICESHIPS

We are always considering in what ways we can effectively give back and make a positive difference. We are only a small business and still building towards one day making a profit, but in the meantime looking at ways we can positively contribute.

Last year, we felt one of the most effective ways to do this, was to provide opportunities for young people to develop new skills, qualifications and experience to launch their career as an outdoor adventure and water sports instructor. In order to do this, we created the Complete Instructor Academy Apprenticeship programme, working alongside Channel Training.

Last October, we took on a rag-tag bunch 😉 of four young people with virtually zero experience in the outdoor industry. And over the last 12 months, despite the challenges, Matt, Leanne, Harry and Marshall (middle right of picture) have worked hard with us to develop their personal skills and gain a range of industry and instructor level qualifications to help launch their careers. Now fully qualified as sailing, paddling, Paddleboarding and archery instructors, with certificates in Outdoor First Aid and Powerboating and a range of complimentary skills in bushcraft and survival, raft building, team building and much more, we are now helping them find the next steps in the career with around the world opportunities.

In addition, we have also just completed a successful round of selection and interviews and will be welcoming Luke, Tina, Thomas and Sam as new Apprentice Instructors with us starting in a couple of weeks time. We are looking forward to working with them and welcoming back some of last years graduates next season.

We are very much about recruiting based on personality and passion, more-so than qualifications and we are looking forward to welcoming these guys into our family, so be sure to make them feel welcome if you are visiting in the coming months.

If you know someone over the age of 18 who might be interested in working with us from October 2021, get them to drop us a line at jobs@southcerneyoutdoor.co.uk and we will be sure to keep them updated when next programme is announced.