We’ve awarded Forest Schools Birmingham CIC £15,000 to help them make a difference in Kingstanding.


The organisation provides an intervention service helping vulnerable people in one of the most deprived areas of Birmingham.

The £15,000 will enable them to bring in a Wellbeing Officer to hep local residents with a large range of tasks they may struggle to do on their own.

Afric Crossan, director at Forest Schools Birmingham, said the support was vital to the community:

“We have been working with young, vulnerable here for many years – Kingstanding is in the highest one per cent of wards in the UK for deprivation so services such as ours are crucial.

“Over the years we’ve worked with people on health and nutrition and teaching them how to grow their own fruit and veg.

“And what has emerged during that work is that there is a very big issue around mental health and wellbeing in the area which was probably going under the radar.

“Since this new Wellbeing Officer role was introduced and supported by the Heart of England Community Foundation, we’ve already worked with three people who were in dire need of help and are now being given the relevant care plans that they required.

“We are helping one individual who has been completely failed by the system over many years. He’s now 44 and his issues should have been picked up from Primary School age.

“He has autism and we have helped him to access the right benefits he is entitled to and have attended GP appointments with him so he is now getting the support he needs in the community.

“That’s just one example but highlights just how vital this work is and how important the grant from the Heart of England Community Foundation will be for this area.”

The grant for the Forest Schools Birmingham CIC project came via the Fourteen Spirit of 2012 programme.

Tina Costello, Chief Executive, said:

“Over the last year we have been able to award an incredible amount of funding to some truly amazing projects making a real difference at grassroots level.

“Going forward we will continue to distribute funding where it is needed the most in communities across the region, and we look forward to working with more organisations like Forest Schools in the future.”

Further information about Forest Schools Birmingham can be found at: http://forestschoolsbirmingham.com/