The enforced business closure due to COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for CVN to re-examine their original business plan in light of experience, business advice and stakeholder feedback. Evidence gathered confirms that the current service location in Cambusbarron Community Centre compromises the service’s ability to meet current regulations for early learning and childcare services and also it’s ability to grow and develop to meet the needs of its stakeholders, particularly with regard to their Woodland Play Sessions which are recognised as being a significant asset of the service. During the COVID-19 pandemic the importance of the outdoor environment has been highlighted by its role not only in promoting physical and mental health but also in preventing the spread of infection. In Scotland, as in other parts of the world, the natural environment has been central to the government’s COVID-19 recovery planning for Scotland with children’s Minister Maree Todd saying
“Playing, learning and having fun outdoors helps to improve children’s wellbeing and resilience, as well as their physical and mental health. It also gives children the opportunity to develop a life-long appreciation of the natural world. This is particularly important during the current circumstances, when we are all having to spend so much more time indoors.”
Prior to lockdown CVN had been making progress in developing and building on the success of Woodland Play Sessions in line with their original business plan and advice received from Enterprise Scotland as a result of their Enterprise Accelerator program. This progress, when combined with COVID-19 experience, has reinforced the need to move the service to a site within the local woodland and to a building designed and created with CVN values in mind. This would allow the service to focus on the delivery of the high quality outdoor play and learning opportunities which will support the development of caring, capable and responsible citizens. Moreover, through this project CVN aims to build relationships throughout the wider community as it works together for the common good.
In 2017 Cambusbarron Community Council commissioned Community Enterprise to work within Cambusbarron to develop a Community Action Plan. This development proposal links well to that Action Plan which identified The Great Outdoors, Activities for All and Connected Cambusbarron as project areas.