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/ 12 December 2017

Forest school benefits from Bishop of London’s Mission Fund funding

Woodland Adventure Forest School, Harrow, has expanded its activities this year following generous support from the City Bridges Trust, the Young Harrow Foundation and the Bishop of London’s Mission Fund (BLMF).

The forest school, based in woodland behind All Saints’ Church, Harrow Weald, provides courses that give local kids the opportunity to engage with the great outdoors.

The new funding from BLMF has supported a variety of woodland based holiday clubs, which have been attended by over ninety young people this year.

The Bridges Trust money has enabled the forest school to recruit an extra staff member, giving the project capacity to reach out and work with schools in neighbouring local authorities.

Courses have been run to give teachers and classroom assistants the chance to gain a qualification in forest school leadership and to run outdoor programmes on their own school sites.

The objective is to enable young people living in urban communities to have access to, enjoy and take responsibility for local green spaces.

In addition to schools work, the funding from Young Harrow Foundation has allowed the forest school to partner with All Saints’ Church and run ‘wellbeing’ activities for isolated individuals and families.

These have included art, floristry and outdoor crafts.

James Mercer, Vicar of All Saints’, said:

“The forest school has benefitted greatly from this generous funding support. It has enabled us to engage with vulnerable people within our community and to affirm that they are valued. The small woodland behind the church is in daily use and provides an oasis of natural calm in urban Harrow.”

Lisa Jeffrey, Mobility Coordinator at Woodlands School, said:

“A lot of our children aren’t given the opportunity to feel mud, bark and leaves – let alone experience a fire they can toast food on. The forest school provides an experience that is slowly being removed from children’s childhoods.”

The forest school’s programmes are especially targeted towards young people who are having difficulty in mainstream education.

Within their groups kids learn to negotiate with others and to find solutions to the challenges they meet.

Thanks to the diversity represented by the attendees, young people and their families are benefitting from the opportunity to come together through an appreciation of nature.

For more information about Woodland Adventure visit: www.woodlandadventureforestschoolharrow.com

Image Credit: Woodland Adventure Forest School

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