Plas Dol-y-Moch was purchased by Coventry City Council in 1966 and for the past 45 years has been providing high quality residential and outdoor experiences exclusively for the young people of Coventry. The property is a 17th century manor house and numerous outbuildings, with 30 acres of grounds and woodlands, in the Vale of Ffestiniog in the Snowdonia National Park.
It is estimated that approximately 100,000 young people from Coventry have attended a residential outdoor education course at Plas Dol-y-Moch and for most of these young people their course was one of the most memorable experiences of their schooldays, and for a significant number, it was a life changing experience.
Plas Dol-y-Moch provides purposeful, enjoyable and safe outdoor education for young people. It promotes personal and social development and environmental awareness and enriches their learning. This helps them to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Outcomes from a Plas Dol-y-Moch experience contribute towards being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.
The centre is run and managed by Coventry City Council but schools are charged for the full cost of the courses, and they in turn charge parents half of the cost (for the board and lodging element). The City Council fund a small allocation of remissions to help schools ensure that no young person is excluded from Plas Dol-y-Moch because their parents cannot afford it.
The vast majority of the 120 schools in Coventry use the facilities of Plas Dol-y-Moch, recognising the quality of the experience which the centre offers. This means that most young people in Coventry get the opportunity to visit Plas Dol-y-Moch at least once in their school careers. Many parents now see an experience at Plas Dol-y-Moch as a birthright for their children, and there is a large reservoir of support and goodwill for the centre among the people of Coventry.
The Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch was started early in 2011 by a small group of enthusiastic supporters of Coventry’s Outdoor Education Centre who wanted to harness the goodwill and support which exists in Coventry for Plas Dol-y-Moch and to raise funds to help the continuing development of the Centre.
The Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch was set up as a charity in order to:
- Obtain charitable status for fund raising events and activities, thereby maximising access to additional revenue streams.
- Place fundraising on a more formalised footing.
- Divorce fundraising activities from the centre and the City Council- again granting access to alternative funding.
- Build links between the City communities and Coventry schools
- Provide a focus for Plas Dol-y-Moch’s alumni and others to channel their interest and support.
The overall aims of The Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch as outlined in its constitution are:
- To support the Centre in its continuing objective of providing high quality outdoor and residential educational opportunities for the young people of Coventry.
- To raise funds for the Centre to enable the development of new activities, resources and facilities which will improve the quality of the experience of Coventry’s young people
To promote the Centre and its aims to the citizens of Coventry and generate further /broader support for the Centre.
To create links to other relevant groups and organisations.