Low Mill Outdoor Education Centre has announced the suspension of residential outdoor activity courses due to a shortage of qualified instructors.
Trustees of the centre in Askrigg said they had taken the “difficult and distressing decision” to halt courses until spring 2023.
The centre said in a statement: “Through hard work and commitment, the charity survived the Covid pandemic and
emerged into 2022 fully booked, with residential outdoor education courses very much in demand from schools and youth groups.”
However, it added: “Like many other centres, Low Mill has been hit by the national shortage of qualified and experienced instructors.
“As the quality of outdoor experience and safety of our school and special needs groups is our priority, without suitably skilled instructors Low Mill has had to make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend residential outdoor activity courses.”
Trustees said this move would enable them to focus on the future survival of the charity.
“The aim is to generate sufficient income to maintain and run the centre until spring 2023.
“This will be done by opening the centre’s accommodation to self-catering groups, supported by trustees and volunteers.”
The trustees said they would continue with fundraising activities and the building of the bursary fund which were “vital to re-opening in 2023 and retaining Low Mill’s independence”.
They said they would also be looking to recruit qualified and experienced instructors throughout 2022 with the aim of having a new team in place ready for spring 2023.
“During the temporary suspension of residential outdoor activities, the trustees aim to refurbish and repair the centre itself.
“They make an appeal for volunteers to help with this, anyone willing to clean, prep, paint and carry out minor repairs are welcomed.
“This has been a difficult and distressing decision to make, Low Mill has been changing the lives of young people for over 45 years. But without skilled instructors we are unable to safely deliver outdoor experiences.”
Anyone wanting to know more about Low Mill, wishing to donate or interested in volunteering can contact the trustees via email email@example.com