Outdoor classroom a new way to learn

Several people sit outside near a ring of stones. It features a school age boy blows onto smoldering sticks and wood, smoke rises from it. Another child in mid foreground holds their noseJack Hazeldine Foundation service users learning how to build a fire

Last August the Jack Hazeldine Foundation (JHF) were awarded £9,189.50 through the NSCP Fund for Project Growth, offering outdoor workshops for at-risk young people. The sessions in their outdoor classroom in The Orchard, Clevedon, help provide long-lasting improved self-confidence and wellbeing.

Who benefited from this funding, and how?

  • 18 at-risk local primary school children enjoyed outdoor learning days and
  • 37 young people who work with a mentor, joined the workshops regularly with their mentor

They benefited from workshops on:

  • forest and survival skills
  • wellbeing – including fitness, nutrition and cooking
  • environmental actions, such as beach cleans, constructing bird and bee boxes, and wildflower beds
  • creative arts and celebrating their achievements during ‘Project Growth’

“This support is really making a huge difference and Jonny is undoubtedly benefiting. He is calmer, happier, and exhibiting far less anxiety.”

parent of a Jack Hazeldine Foundation mentee.

Togetherness with a much-needed sense of purpose at a very difficult time

Pearl Cross from JHF says: “This project is vital to the young people of North Somerset who are facing unprecedented challenges due to Covid-19. Many of our young people are isolated, disconnected and at risk of antisocial behaviour.

“The funding helped us offer a comprehensive workshop programme which was shaped by young people with lived experience. Project Growth has allowed us to bring families together to take part in meaningful activities in a Covid-secure way. Family groups volunteered to spend time helping with building, path laying, planting, clearing and digging, working in their own bubbles across the site. This gave many families an opportunity for togetherness with a much-needed sense of purpose at a very difficult time.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the NSCP and Quartet Community Foundation, as well as all of our brilliant  team of staff and volunteers, whose flexibility, dedication and expertise have enabled a comprehensive and swift emergency support programme. Our outreach within mentoring, tutoring, outdoor learning workshops and LEGO therapy has benefitted local young people most affected by Covid, and has clearly shown the improvement of resilience and coping strategies, the development and repair of friend and family relationships, and increases in self-confidence when facing reintegration into school post lockdown.”

Project offered Ben somewhere to go when the world was in lockdown

Ben spent most of the winter shut indoors, his mum was shielding so he wasn’t able to go out as the family wanted to protect her. He was given a laptop for schoolwork, but their internet connection was poor, so he often missed live lessons.

Ben began to fall further behind and lost contact with all friends. JHF offered Ben a space on an outdoor learning workshop with his classmates during February half-term. Reconnecting with his peers and teachers helped build his confidence. Since coming to the workshop Ben has now returned to school. He’s delighted to see his friends again.

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