Charity which takes city youngsters to Sussex countryside secures CLA Charitable Trust funding

Grant to help connect urban children with nature during overnight trip to rural Sussex
Activiteens on a previous trip.jpg
Youngsters on a previous Activiteens trip to the countryside

A charity which takes city youngsters on visits to the Sussex countryside has been awarded nearly £3,000 from the CLA Charitable Trust (CLACT) to help connect children with nature.

The trust is funded almost entirely by subscriptions and donations from members of the CLA, an organisation which represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses.

It provides grants to charities and community organisations who share its vision to help connect young people who are disabled or disadvantaged with the countryside and nature.

Activiteens is among the groups to successfully apply for funding in the most recent round of awards, receiving all £2,938 it asked for. Established in 2004, it aims to improve the lives of children in Hackney and Haringey aged 11 to 16 through activities such as day trips, overnight retreats, cookery classes, arts and music clubs, breakfast clubs and health, fitness and sports projects.

It plans to use the funding to take 74 disadvantaged young people away on an overnight trip to the Sussex countryside near Horsham this summer. They will spend two days enjoying outdoor leisure activities and workshops including hiking, a trip to the beach, aerobics and a nature trail.

Toby Erlanger, project administrator at Activiteens, said: “Activiteens are so grateful to the CLA Charitable Trust for sponsoring our upcoming retreat entitled ‘I Love Fresh Air’.

“This will give young people a much-needed escape from their overcrowded, poverty-stricken inner-city. In addition to the social, sports and recreational benefits of the trip, they will be taught healthy living skills and about the flora and fauna in rural areas.

“In addition to the newfound education of the English countryside and improved knowledge and lived-experience of healthy living, we expect all the young people to return refreshed and invigorated to continue to persevere in spite of the challenging circumstances they face.

“Thank you for partnering with us, allowing our young people to blossom in an enabling environment.”

Bridget Biddell, Chairman of CLACT, said: “It is vitally important for all young people to be able to connect with nature, as it is crucial to our health and well-being.

“Therefore the trust is delighted to be able to support this overnight trip to the beautiful Sussex countryside, and help so many children learn more about the natural environment, food and healthy eating.”

More about CLACT

Since its foundation in 1980, the trust has given £2m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects. If you would like to know more about applying for funding, or to donate, visit

For more information about the CLA and its work, visit and follow @CLASouthEast on Twitter.