The Goodwood Education Trust Awarded £5,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund

Goodwood Education Trust | Press Article 27/05/24

The Goodwood Education Trust is thrilled to have been awarded £5,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund, to connect vulnerable and disadvantaged young people with nature.

The Education Trust, an independent charity operating on the Goodwood Estate, inspires a love and understanding of nature and sustainable agriculture. Almost 50 years old, the Trust runs three programmes year-round: Farm Visits, including free visits for schools with high numbers of children eligible for Free School Meals, woodland activities, including weekly Forest School for children facing educational challenges, and a Children in the Community programme, to bring children into nature. In 2023 the Trust welcomed around 3,000 people to the farm and to the woods.

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will enable the Trust to expand the Children in the Community Programme. This means ten more local organisations and charities working with young people will be able to bring groups to the woods. A day spent in the woods might include fire laying and lighting, campfire cooking, time relaxing in a hammock, den building, woodland crafts, trying hand tools, games and a nature trail. Child led, accessible and inclusive, and designed so everyone can enjoy participating and being in nature.

Those already booked in, to benefit from this funding, include the Chichester Boys Club, the Sanctuary in Chichester, and the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. Some families who are supported by The Sussex Snowdrop Trust enjoyed a day in 2023. Lucy Ashworth, Fundraising, Events and Media Manager said, “We are very grateful to the Goodwood Education Trust for enabling some of our families to experience this unique space. It was wonderful to see the children and their parents connect with the environment and each other.”

Catherine Cannon, Education Trust Manager, said, ‘Research shows that time spent in nature can dramatically improve mental health and well-being, easing anxiety and increasing socialisation and co-operation. We are so fortunate to have year-round, accessible facilities set in 20 acres of semi-ancient woodland, perfect for playing, exploring and escaping. We look forward to welcoming more children and families to the woods, and this funding will make such a significant difference to who we can support.’