During the last weeks of the summer term the Areti Trust has been funding visits to Leighton Moss for over 300 primary school pupils. It has been a pleasure to enable children to get out into the natural world again after the straitjacket of the last 18 months.
With the disruption to children’s education and social lives over the last 15 months, the Areti Trust is, exceptionally, stretching its criteria for awards at present. We are pleased to make a grant of £2,400 to Heron Corn Mill for summer projects for children and young people.
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.
The Areti Trust is pleased to award a grant of £8,820 to Lancashire Youth Challenge for their summer activity: the “Highest, Longest, Deepest, Wildest Challenge”. This will see young people taking on the following:
- The ascent of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England
- Canoeing the length of Windermere, the longest lake in England
- An abseil into Longchurn Caves, some of the deepest caves in England
- A night of ‘wild camping’ atop of the fells.
Naturally, grant applications are very rare at present, but one application that the trustees approved at their last meeting was to award £3,410 to Hermitage Field Community Meadow. This newly formed charity is aiming to restore 5.5 acres into a species-rich wildflower hay meadow beside the Crook o’Lune, engaging local schoolchildren in the planting.
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!)
The Areti Trust has also made a small grant to St Patrick’s Primary School for a class visit to Windermere.
The trustees met recently to consider the latest applications and agreed to make the following grants:
- £6,580 to Ludus Dance for a one-year pilot project with two primary schools to develop a programme of dance based on the natural world.
- £1,200 to Walney Community Trust for a youth residential to Ambleside.
- £13,500 to Morecambe Bay Partnership for primary school visits to Sunderland Point and follow-up creative activities.
- £3,394 to Lancaster Boys & Girls Club for various outdoor activities.
- £8,150 to Lancashire Youth Challenge towards their outdoor summer challenges.
- £5,800 to Arnside & Silverdale AONB for a pilot project working with a pupil referral unit.
- £3,500 to Marsh Community Centre for a youth residential.
- £10,000 to Arnside & Silverdale AONB to work with primary schools and produce work for Light Up Lancaster and the Morecambe West End Lantern Festival.
The trustees also agreed to make a grant of £25,000 to Escape2Make later in the year for their 2021 Mini Green Festival.
Finally, the trust will continue to fund visits to Leighton Moss by primary schools with above-average pupil premiums.