Escape2Make held their Green Festival in Scotch Quarry today to showcase the creative work of young people on the theme of the environment. Lots of activities and an inspirational feel.
- Between June 2021 and March 2022, 875 schoolchildren from 12 local primary schools visited RSPB Leighton Moss, class by class, enjoying a day of discovering and learning about birds, minibeasts and what lurks beneath the surface of ponds. The Areti Trust is grateful to the Learning Team at Leighton Moss for connecting children with nature again after lockdown with such enthusiasm and heart.
- Junior members of the Lancaster Boys’ and Girls’ Club had outdoor day visits during half term. As is the tradition, it did rain, but that didn’t stop the enjoyment.
- The Areti Trust recently awarded £2,750 to Skerton Community Association for 50 young people to go on a summer residential trip to an outdoor activity centre for a week.
One of this year’s projects came to a close with primary schoolchildren parading the “Wyrm of Trowbarrow” through the city centre as part of Light Up Lancaster. This was organised by Arnside and Silverdale AONB, working with artists Anna Read and Shane Johnstone.
Lancashire Youth Challenge successfully completed their “Highest, Longest, Deepest, Darkest & Wildest Challenge” in August: canoeing the length of Windermere, climbing Scafell Pike, abseiling into the caves of Cathedral Quarry, a night of wild camping in a gale, and scrambling through the Yordas Cave.
Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are taking children from four primary schools to Silverhelme Scout Camp and Trowbarrow Quarry and working with them to produce a “serpent” of lanterns for the Light Up Lancaster event in November.
Ludus has completed a project with primary school children, taking them outdoors to look carefully at and learn about the plants and creatures around them. Back in school, the children’s creativity was developed by using art and physical movement to inspire a respect for the natural world.
One of the projects that The Areti Trust funded last year (and which had to be adapted to comply with Covid regulations) was a project combining the natural world and dance. A team from Ludus Dance worked with children from Ryelands Primary School to create an activity about autumn and the changing colours of the trees and landscape. The children took part in a walk around the local park, where they were shown how to identify different types of trees and explored their qualities and potential.
The project also highlighted the importance of preserving and looking after our local wildlife, and the topics of plastic pollution, pollinator decline and local walks for the children came up in all sessions.
For the Areti trustees it was a pleasure to watch a video clip of the children dancing as trees or as butterflies and to sense their delight in the project. The project resumes with Ryelands next month; Ludus will also be working with North Road Community Primary School in Carnforth this spring.
It has not been possible for most of the activities planned for 2020 to take place, but the Lancashire Association of Boys and Girls Clubs have managed one. During October half-term 6 young people from Lancaster went on a residential course at Ormside Mill outdoor centre in Cumbria.
Sadly – but not surprisingly – most of the activities funded by The Areti Trust at the beginning of the year have had to be postponed. The trustees were therefore very pleased to learn that Lancashire Youth Challenge managed to complete a modified version of their Coniston Challenge over the summer. This enabled 2 separate groups of young people to spend 3 days (non-residential) caving, hiking and ghyll-scrambling – a character-forming experience that enabled them to put lockdown out of their minds for a short time. (And also – a common theme it seems with such mini-adventures – involved them getting very wet!)
One of the projects which the Areti Trust helped to fund this year was the Hadrian’s Wall walk by Lancashire Youth Challenge.
In August a team of 16 young people, 2 staff and 4 volunteers hiked across 50 miles in 4 days, beginning at Hedden-on-the Wall and concluding in Carlisle.
The young people on the walk had been referred to Lancashire Youth Challenge by Lancaster Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Barnardo’s, Lancashire Constabulary, local pupil referral units and schools due to their personal needs and vulnerabilities. They had worked hard in preparation for the walk, building up their fitness, resilience and team-building, and they completed this amazing challenge successfully.