Over 40 children from inner-city Nottingham got to experience outdoor learning for the first time thanks to a donation of £4,378 from The Wesleyan Foundation.
The money went to Wild Things Ecological Education Collective, a Nottinghamshire organisation that provides outdoor learning programmes for children from severely disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom have never spent time out of the city and in woodland areas.
Wild Things used the money from The Wesleyan Foundation to run four sessions of its Forest Schools programme, an initiative that turns woodland spaces into outdoor classrooms, helping children develop important communication skills.
Most of our pupils do not get the chance to enjoy woodlands and open spaces, this was a real treat for them
Dunkirk Primary School was one of the schools to benefit. Teaching assistant Russell Gough was full of praise for the scheme’s long-term benefits.
He said: “The children got the chance to bond and develop their relationships with each other out of their usual inner-city school environment. Most of our pupils do not get the chance to enjoy woodlands and open spaces, this was a real treat for them.”
It was incredible to see the positive effect the peace, tranquillity and space had on their emotional well-being and behaviour
Kate Milman, Project Co-ordinator at Wild Things, said: “The children we work with need extra emotional, learning or social support to reach their full potential. It was incredible to see the positive effect the peace, tranquillity and space had on their emotional well-being and behaviour.”
The programme ran for six weeks, where children were able to experience a range of outdoor activities including foraging, tracking, climbing trees, learning about nature, messy play, storytelling and singing, all designed to boost the children’s confidence.
The Wesleyan Foundation was launched in June 2017 by specialist financial services mutual Wesleyan and has already provided more than £1 million in funding to over 200 charities, community groups and social enterprises around the UK.
Each year, Wild Things works with approximately 1,000 children and young people across the Nottinghamshire area.
For more information about the Wesleyan Foundation and to apply for funding visit http://www.wesleyan.co.uk/foundation/.