A breath of fresh air
Over the past year, the Earth Trust provided students with special needs in Oxfordshire the chance to get out in the fresh air and learn new skills through their Countryside Skills education programme. A grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation supported the programme, which was disrupted by the pandemic but managed to hold on-site sessions between September and December 2020, and then move to deliver sessions online from January 2021.
In summer 2020 the organisation worked hard to prepare the site for return of pupils following lockdown, consulting with their schools to understand their needs and ensuring Covid-safe practices were in place. Once back on-site, the 14-16 year old pupils from schools in Bishopswood, Wallingford and Endeavour attended once a week for up to 14 weeks, enjoying outdoor activities at their own pace and learning how to use a variety of tools.
“I love seeing the students grow and develop from their outdoor experiences… These are often children that have been told by society that they need to modify or restrict their behaviour, and it is inspiring to see them flourish as they experience the freedom of the outdoors,” said Nikki Baily, Volunteer.