Seven children’s outdoor projects awarded grants from George’s Fund

From therapeutic Forest School sessions and accessible gardens to a new outdoor family space

Nurturing young children’s wellbeing in the great outdoors at Haygrove Community Gardens

George’s Fund is delighted to announce that it is awarding its very first round of grants to seven local projects which make the most of the outdoors to nurture the wellbeing of children aged three to eleven. 

Set up in memory of the short and special life of George Price and managed by Herefordshire Community Foundation, George’s Fund invited applications from projects tapping into the power of nature to make a long-term, meaningful difference to participants. 

Laura Hughes, founder of George’s Fund, says, “I am thrilled that George’s Fund can give a helping hand to such fantastic projects and cannot wait to see what is achieved.”

Bridie Sullivan, CEO of Herefordshire Community Foundation, continued, “ We love looking after George’s Fund and with Laura’s energy and commitment know that it will continue to go from strength to strength. “

The successful projects are:

 The Cart Shed which will  be using the support to provide tailored therapeutic support in a woodland setting and to enable the creation of a canvas outdoor workshop space for young people.  

St Thomas Cantilupe CE Primary in Hereford will also invest the grant in after-school therapy for young children with social and emotional difficulties. The sessions will be combined with forest school skills, helping participants develop new skills, from campfire cooking to shelter building,alongside teaching critical thinking, resilience and ways of managing emotions.

Likewise, The Family Place Foundation will offer therapeutic support to adopted, fostered and kinship children and their families, as part of residential respite camps in Herefordshire. Parent-child, individual and whole group counselling sessions will help families discover the outdoors together with the aim of enabling them to leave camp with more stable relationships. 

Meanwhile, Growing Local CIC  will be leading half-day growing sessions in the new Children’s Education Garden which they are  establishing at their 20-acre site on the southern edge of Hereford (as part of the Southside Project). The funds will also help enable Growing Local to create an accessibility group, to ensure the design of the new garden is accessible to as many young people as possible. Consideration will be given to a variety of needs, from sensory, social and physical to mental health, learning difficulties and autistic needs. 

The focus of the grant support at Haygrove Community Gardens will be on facilitated sessions with local schools and nurseries to help young ones connect with nature and learn how to live more sustainably. They will experience how to grow and nurture plants, understand how they become the food we eat, and discuss how wildlife is vital for a healthy environment.

School sessions will be run by Cultivated Learning and Nature CIC, helping young people engage in ecological issues, natural history and wildlife. Their activity will be targeted at schools in areas of deprivation and those catering for children with special educational needs. As part of their project, they will also train teachers and community groups in wildlife identification to encourage future nature-based activities. 

And finally, Aspire Living will enhance the outdoor space of their Aspire Growing Cafe at Widemarsh Children’s Centre. Together with support from another Herefordshire Community Foundation fund, a safe environment for families will be created; a place to meet and for children to enjoy messy play and other outdoor activities. The project will include a covered veranda over the seating area to provide an all-weather space.