A third of staff at an outdoor activity centre run by UK Youth are facing redundancy as the charity attempts to restructure its work in line with the demands of the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity said today that it had identified 14 of 39 jobs at the Avon Tyrrell centre in the New Forest, Hampshire, as being at risk, as it works to avoid the otherwise likely closure of the 135-year-old site.
UK Youth, which employs 108 staff overall, said the Covid-19 pandemic had placed “significant strain on the outdoor learning sector”.
It said that unless it realigned the centre to the current business environment it would make a projected loss of about £600,000 next year.
Ndidi Okezie, chief executive of UK Youth, said it was a “very sad day” in the charity’s history.
“Over the past six months our staff at Avon Tyrrell have been working incredibly hard to continue to deliver outdoor learning, despite the unbelievably difficult challenges in income that Covid-19 has brought," she said.
“I have seen first-hand how much the opportunity to experience outdoor learning changes a young person. It is particularly painful given the unwavering dedication of our staff throughout this pandemic.”
The charity said the centre provided more than 71,000 engagement days for young people last year and remained open in a Covid-secure manner.
It expects to have completed the redundancy process by 31 October.