Doncaster Deaf Trust manages Little Learners Day Nursery, Doncaster School for the Deaf, Communication Specialist College Doncaster, Dickson House Care Home and Aspire to be Employability Services.
As part of the Trust’s service delivery, they have an onsite Forest School with its own ‘woodland walk’ through.
The Forest School has its own trees and wildflowers, along with a log cabin, a fire-pit area, a hand water pump, insect areas and even its own weather station, thus providing for a fulsome natural learning centre in the open air.
Following an application to the CLA Charitable Trust, the team at Communication Specialist College Doncaster, were able to upskill a leader and two assistants in the Forest School to enable them the best experiences and learning opportunities.
A special area for the residential students at the college has been developed.
The CLA Charitable Trust is funded almost entirely by subscriptions from members of the CLA (Country Land and Business Association), an organisation which represents 27,000 farmers, landowners, and rural businesses. The Trust provides grants to charities and community organisations across England and Wales who share its vision to help connect young people who are disabled or disadvantaged with the countryside.
Doncaster Deaf Trust’s Chief Executive, Alexis Johnson, said: “We are over the moon with the CLA Charitable Trust’s grant, as it has enabled our Forestry School’s leader and assistants to be appropriately trained to facilitate the development of our young service users.”
“It helps our Forest School leaders to combine theoretical and practical skills whilst also observing the progress of the school’s ten students. The feedback has been very positive from both students and staff and our Forest School Leader is now also hosting special lessons at the school for five students every Friday.”
The accredited courses were delivered by ‘Muddy Feet’, an external training specialist, which is recognised by the Institute of Outdoor Learning. Training modules touched on various aspects that supports learning, play and development in the natural environment, along with practical skills such as fire-lighting, knot-tying, putting up hammocks and using various tools.
CLA Director North Lucinda Douglas said: “I am delighted that the CLA Charitable Trust has been able to support Doncaster Deaf Trust with funding. They do so much good work in their local community, and it’s very pleasing to think that these grants will help them achieve even more and make a difference to the young people they work with.”
Bridget Biddell, Chair of the CLA Charitable Trust, said: “The CLA Charitable Trustis dedicated to helping those who are disabled or disadvantaged to visit and participate in learning experiences about the countryside, and last year alone 61 charities and projects received grants totalling nearly £240,000.”
Since its foundation in 1980, the Trust has given more than £2m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects. Horticulture sessions, new welly racks and nature trails are among the projects and good causes to benefit from thousands of pounds of funding from the CLA Charitable Trust.
For further information on the Trust and the grant application process, visit the CLA’s website by clicking here.