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Jonathan Burfoot

Jonathan Burfoot

Newquay Forest School

What started as a relatively small idea has developed into something much bigger, thanks to the fantastic support and encouragement of the Outset Cornwall team, and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.

Jonathan’s story

Jonathan Burfoot approached Outset Cornwall late last year with an idea for creating Newquay Forest School, a supportive learning environment for children and young people, a place to help them overcome learning barriers and develop their confidence and social skills.

“We are all born with unique gifts and talents, I wanted to create somewhere that helps children discover what they are good at, somewhere they can feel good about themselves; while simultaneously providing valuable support for parents, teachers or anyone that works with young people,” says Jonathan.

Through Outset’s Introduction to Enterprise sessions, Jonathan was able to examine his concept from various angles, develop practical plans for implementing his idea, with consideration given to market readiness, finance and marketing. The Outset team worked closely with Jonathan to help him to define his strategy and develop a clear business plan both through the workshop series as well as one-on-one mentoring.

Newquay Forest School is registered as a social enterprise and overseen by an unincorporated group of members, drawn from the local community and all passionate about supporting youth. Jonathan claims “If there is one thing I’ve learned from the Outset it’s to pick your team well and surround yourself with people who encourage you.” With the school growing in popularity, Jonathan and his team, including his wife Anna, now plan to launch similar projects in other locations across Cornwall and hopefully expand their reach nationally, through a subscription scheme and resource pack for schools and other youth organisations.

While it’s still early days, Jonathan plans to make the business sustainable by reinvesting all profits back into the business, and removing reliance on external funding. He also intends to offer subsidies for groups who lack funds to travel to the school, and donates a portion of the business’ earnings to the ‘New Life House’ project in Laos, which helps get kids off the streets.

“Starting the school has been a fantastic challenge and the best thing about it has been having the freedom to do something without restrictions. It’s been wonderful to be able to give back to the Cornwall community, and to achieve a better quality of life, greater flexibility and more time with my family,” says Jonathan.

“What started as a relatively small idea has developed into something much bigger, thanks to the fantastic support and encouragement of the Outset Cornwall team, and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”

 For more information visit www.newquayforestschool.co.uk