DD Charity Update - April 2022
With the longer days, fresh air and warmer weather really making April bloom, there’s no better time to explore the outdoors and experience the true joys of spring.
This month we have partnered with Children’s University in collaboration with Doncaster Forest School, who work to offer children of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop a love of learning outwith the traditional classroom environment via extra cirricular activities, even while out and about in nature.
Read on below to see more about the work of Children’s University!
Doncaster Children’s University & Doncaster Forest School
Based in Yorkshire, the Children’s University is a charity that works in partnership with schools to develop a love of learning in children. This love of learning is fostered by encouraging and celebrating participation in extra curricular activities, both inside and outside of the traditional school environment. In particular, the use of the Forest School program of outdoor learning plays a major part.
Heather Coultard, a Co-ordinator with the Children’s University, explains more about the ethos and goals of the charity and the Forest School as a whole:
Children who participate in Children’s University have the opportunity to learn in a rich range of contexts, experience new places, visit universities and attend their own graduation ceremonies. This adventure introduces children to the joy of learning, brings a sense of wonder in the world around them and develops their confidence and aspirations for the brightest futures. We know what we do works and has an incredible impact on the lives of children.
We are very lucky at Doncaster Children’s University to work along side the Doncaster Forest School Team in which our CU staff are also part of and so can increase the offer to schools and children in the brough.
Forest School is a Scandinavian practice which was brought to the UK in 1993. Since then Forest School across the UK has grown, supporting all who access it with its encompassing ethos which supports the holistic development. Doncaster Forest School champions this ethos, running programmes of sessions for the same users to be able to revisit and engage in child led experiences that consider both risk and the benefits.
With a specific drive to get children and young people accessing nature and noticing it around them, most of our sessions provide opportunities to explore the world around them to help them make sense of the life they are living. The may choose to chill by relazing in a hammock, building a den to keep themselves warm and dry, or using the tools to create something by hand. Whatever the experience it is encouraging children and young people to build connections. Our delivery, by specialists in the team in SEND, teaching and trauma informed provides opportunities to be in the moment, and take a second, or even a minute to themselves.
Going forward, we hope that Heather and the children at Doncaster Children's University and Forest School enjoy their new DD kit, and we wish them all the best with their outdoor learning adventures!
With spring well and truly in bloom around us and with summer just around the corner, we would like to continue to support even more charities and organizations with donations of our special edition hammocks and tarps!
Do you know of a charity or group that focuses on the outdoors and helping those less fortunate enjoy the many positives of the natural world? If you think they would benefit from some free sets of outdoor equipment, plus a feature on the DD Charity Blog to showcase their work and efforts, we would love to hear from you!
Help us help others, and get involved by getting in touch with us via our DD Charity contact form.
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About the writer
A regular on the hiking trails of Northern Scotland, Vikki loves nothing more than being in the great outdoors. When she's not pulling on her hiking boots or trail shoes, this DD Team Member can often be spotted in the gym or curled up at home with a sketchpad and pencil.