Romanians on fact-finding mission

Organiser Mick Sumpter (left), Hartlepool College of Further Education assistant principal Darren Hankey (centre) and Mayor of Hartlepool Stuart Drummond (right) with the Romanian visitors to Hartlepool
Organiser Mick Sumpter (left), Hartlepool College of Further Education assistant principal Darren Hankey (centre) and Mayor of Hartlepool Stuart Drummond (right) with the Romanian visitors to Hartlepool

A TOWN-BASED charity welcomed a group of Romanian visitors as it closes in on opening an outdoor adventure site in a small town in the country.

European Children’s Help Organisation (Echo) has been working on plans to open a site in Pascani, in Romania, similar to Carlton Outdoor Education Centre, in North Yorkshire.

Newspapers and television channels have covered the story in Pascani, which has a population of 45,000 people, ahead of a council decision expected later this month.

Echo trustee Mick Sumpter said he is extremely confident the plans for the site will go ahead.

To see how such outdoor education sites work, a group who are involved with the developments in Romania made the trip to Hartlepool.

During their visit they got the opportunity to spend three days at Carlton Outdoor Education Centre, and also visited the West View Project and the community centre at Stranton Primary School.

They also spent the day at the impressive new Hartlepool College of Further Education building, in Stockton Street, where they got the chance to meet Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond.

Mick Sumpter, who is also director of MKM Building Supplies, in Burn Road, said: “For the people who came over to Hartlepool it was more of a fact-finding mission.

“They had to make a report of their findings to take back so they had a look at places like Carlton and the West View Project to see how they operate.

“When they look at these places, they are so impressed.”

The work of Echo has already had an impact on thousands of people in Romania.

The charity’s fundraising efforts in the past has helped to open two centre’s for Down’s syndrome children and those with moderate or severe disabilities in the country.

Their latest project would help to provide various outdoor activities including canoeing and forest adventures.

Mick added: “The young people there don’t have a lot of activities to do in their spare time.

“I don’t expect any problems, we are very confident the plans will go ahead.”