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.
Wild Things Ecological Education Collective is a Nottinghamshire organisation that provides outdoor learning programmes for children from severe disadvantaged backgrounds. For many of the children they work with it can be their first experience of spending time out of the city and in woodland areas.
Wild Things used funds received last year 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.
The programme ran for six weeks over the summer holidays 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.
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.
“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.”
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 Wesleyan Foundation was launched in June 2017 by specialist financial services mutual Wesleyan and has already provided more than £1 million in funding to 200-plus charities, community groups and social enterprises around the country. The Foundation is managed by the Heart of England Community Foundation.
Tina Costello, Chief Executive of the Heart of England, said:
“It’s brilliant to be able to support these initiatives. It’s vital that young people get the opportunity to experience different environments and we’re so thrilled that the project has been beneficial to these guys!”
Each year, Wild Things works with approximately 1,000 children and young people across the Nottinghamshire area.
For more information about our Wesleyan Foundation Grants click here.