The Midlands receives a flurry of applications for the CLA Charitable Trust

The Midlands region receives bumper applications for the CLA Charitable Trust (CLACT)
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The Malvern Cube received a grant from the CLACT to take groups of young people out on day trips to Back to the Wild CIC.

A flurry of applications for the CLACT were received from across the region, following a drive from the Midlands CLA team, committees and members. Reviewed by the CLACT panel, grants have now been awarded to projects and organisations in Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Birmingham.

Since its foundation in 1980, the trust has given £2m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects.

We would like to congratulate the recipients of these grants. Bonterre CIC based in Worcestershire, Educating Kids Outdoors situated in Staffordshire, The Kingswood Trust, also based in Staffordshire, LEAF Education and Martineau Gardens both based in Birmingham, The Malvern Cube Project and the Wyre Community Land Trust both situated in Worcestershire and Oak Tree Farm based in Staffordshire.

Educating Kid Outdoors (EKO), a charity supporting schools to include Outdoor Learning as part of their pedagogy for the benefit of their pupils’ and staff learning and wellbeing, is immensely grateful to the CLA Charitable Trust for their generous grant of £2500 to launch their new ‘Good Growing’ programme at Weston Park this summer term. The ‘Good Growing’ Programme is the most recent addition to Weston Park’s award winning educational programme and provides an opportunity for children to plant their own food, watch it grow and learn how to cook a healthy meal for themselves and their families.

Natasha Branston, Founder of Educating Kids outdoors

The funding received will go towards a variety of projects to help disadvantaged children and adults. A few examples of this include providing the opportunity for children to grow, harvest and cook their own vegetables, farm visits for schools, therapeutic horticulture placements and even the conversion of a toilet block into a staff room at a rural working environment for people with disabilities.

We are thrilled to be allocated a CLACT Grant. This funding will be used to take four groups of young people on workshops to Back to the Wild CIC at Hellens Manor, Ledbury. They will be able to explore the 58 acres of woodland, wildflower meadows and the surrounding farmland. The aim is that they will build skills, knowledge, respect and a better understanding of nature/our planet. This is such an amazing opportunity for our young people to access the benefits of the countryside, including its positive impact on health and wellbeing. The chance to learn more about our beautiful local countryside will also be much appreciated I am sure.

Jo Hine, Youth Manager at the Malvern Cube

Funded almost entirely by subscriptions and donations from CLA members, an organisation which supports nearly 28,000 farmers, landowners and rural businesses, the CLACT is dedicated to helping charities who share in its vision of connecting people who are disabled or disadvantaged with the countryside.

At our March meeting we were delighted to award 8 grants to amazing charities and CIC’s in the Midlands. In the main, the funding will help support the running costs of critical work undertaken by these committed organisations. The beneficiaries are predominately children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and or living with challenging conditions. The grants will enable opportunities for the beneficiaries to have time in, and experience of either farming, horticulture ,nature, woods, fields and farm animals. In some cases the opportunities will be in training and in others the chance of being with nature for mental and physical healing. There is an exciting mix of projects from across the region and we are very pleased that the Charitable trust is able to support this work.

Bridget Biddell, Chairman of the CLACT