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Every Child Should Experience a Night Under the Stars

Click on the image to read press coverage about the Essential Life Skills Programme 2019

In conjunction with the Department of Education and Doncaster Opportunity Area, we were selected to provide courses in Essential Life Skills throughout 2019.

This programme saw £22 million invested across 12 areas of the country. It was part of the DfE's vision of an education system that prepares young people for life in modern Britain, regardless of where they grow up. Through implementation of its Children and Young People's Plan, Doncaster seeks to become the "most child-friendly borough" in the country by 2020. It aims to ensure the best outcomes for its young people and improve social mobility.

As one of the chosen delivery partners for this local plan, our scheme offered extra-curricular activities to children aged 5-18. This included after-school sessions and some 2/3 day residential visits for young people from some of the most disadvantaged areas. Our programme of outdoor pursuits involved survival skills, orienteering and fire-lighting. It was designed to broaden young people's horizons and give them new opportunities to develop skills in leadership and teamwork.

By helping them to build other non-cognitive skills such as confidence, character and resilience, the long term aim was to improve their self worth - the "can-do" attitude. Motivating these young people to engage in new activities and spend time in the great outdoors also helped them to develop respect and empathy for the environment and others, whilst taking part in some fun activities. Feedback from schools showed many of those children attending had later demonstrated improved focus in classroom activities as well as a better overall attitude to learning.

Some further funding was received in 2020 from the Tween Bridge Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund. We will be able to offer additional children from deprived areas the chance to take part in our Essential Life Skills programme once the current lockdown is relaxed, and we can do so whilst adhering to appropriate social distancing measures.

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New Pond Shelter

We recently received a grant of £2,000 from the People's Postcode Lottery to fund the installation of a shelter beside our on-site pond.

The wooden structure, which was designed and built by a local carpenter, provides shade in summer and shelter from the elements for groups doing pond dipping activities.

Equipped with storage benches to hold trays, the children are able to identify what they have caught from our pond life guides.

We would like to thank all who supported us in completing this project - and particularly the players of the People's Postcode Lottery.

To learn more about their work please see

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Funding News

Having been shortlisted by Persimmons Homes in October 2020 within 96 selected projects, we secured £1,000 plus an additional £5,000 in November from their Building Futures Fund.

We are delighted as this money gives us a start towards our rough campsite project. Our thanks to all who voted for us last year!

Co-op Local Community Fund scheme

We are delighted to announce that customers of the Co-op have raised £1,111.57 to support us in funding a wooden gazebo for shelter outside. Once we have raised further funds we will be able to begin this project.

Our grateful thanks for all those who supported us by donating in this scheme!