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.
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
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!)
During the February half-term, Lancaster Boys & Girls Club went to the Anderton Centre, Chorley, for a one-night team-building residential. They got wet and blown about – and learned more about working together.