Grant enables Trust to educate from the armchair during Coronavirus

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting school closures, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has had to rethink its Formal Learning programmes to continue engaging with schools in Staffordshire.

Thanks to the grant of £3000 provided by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, SWT will soon be ready to launch its Virtually Wild programme. This aims to provide a wealth of content on how to carry out a range of outdoor learning activities in school settings, with children of key workers who are still attending.

The Trust’s Learning team is busy putting together the content, which will launch for schools in this month.

Being outdoors is proven to aid people's mental health and wellbeing, therefore it will be of great help to both adults and children in a school setting to find ways to learn, appreciate nature and have fun outdoors in these very challenging circumstances. Time outside will give children the chance to play, learn, get valuable exercise and build up mental and physical resilience.

Vicky Broad, from the Trust’s People Engagement team, said: “When lockdown was announced, we wanted to ensure we could still provide a way for school communities to access our activities and engage with nature.

“Our Virtually Wild idea came about as a result and it will soon be ready to launch, aided by the grant we’ve received from The Community Foundation for Staffordshire.

“It is tailored for use in schools by teachers and teaching assistants, and will give them the confidence and knowledge to get the children learning outside. All activities use resources that will generally be available in a school setting, and that can be used in a variety of locations, whether the school has lots of green space or not.

Steve Adams, CEO of The Community Foundation for Staffordshire said: “I am delighted that such an imaginative idea could be supported via the Coronavirus Response Fund which has so far distributed over £300,000 across the county.”

Teachers will be contacted by email when the resources are ready to launch. For more information visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk

For funding opportunities during Coronavirus contact the Community Foundation for Staffordshire on 01785 339540 or office@staffsfoundation.org.uk