Exodus was formed in the year 2000 by Jackie and Martin, who still manage the project's operations and development. From one activity club in the Town Centre of Barnsley and lots of dreams, the project has grown to 15 activity clubs, a weekend activity centre, a charity shop, 11 staff, 70+ volunteers, 3 mini buses and a large white van! We now have projects all over Barnsley, including Town Centre, Worsbrough Common, Darfield, Birdwell, Staincross, Cudworth, South Hiendley and Bank End. We have 7 trustees, many of whom have been with us from the start and continue to guide and inspire our vision for the future.
Its is our unique model that is most noteworthy:
We work with children and young people, many from the most disadvantaged communities. Our aim is to divert them from destructive lifestyles. We do this by working in partnership with families and others within the communities. There are 5 aspects to our unique model:
1. Our main focus is on mid-week activity clubs in the heart of less advantaged communities. Our clubs for 8-11's are called Kidz Klub. Our youth groups are known as Rock Solid. There are currently 15 groups meeting every week during school term time.
2. We deliver weekend "camps", which combine great fun and educational activities, at our own activity centre known as Jenny's Field. The children and young people who attend the mid-week clubs, come in their turn to the centre, again with the aim of building trusting relationships and growing aspirations.
4. We partner with the wider communities in which our activity clubs are based, by working alongside schools, community associations, ward alliances, residents groups and local authority officers, delivering galas and community improvement initiatives.
5. The final aspect of our unique model is volunteer development. Over half of our volunteer team are former service users. They progress from the Kidz Klub groups to the Rock Solid groups, and when they reach 14 they can become junior leaders (volunteers) in the younger age clubs. After that, so many progress to become adult leaders. We have known many of our adult volunteers for 6 to 14 years, as a result of our relationship building approach to volunteer development.