PLAY Bradford, has been awarded £25,234 in funding to encourage disadvantaged children to connect with nature through outdoor learning. The Natural Fun project will be built at the charity’s main site, The Big Swing, in Eccleshill, and will be a bespoke area of land that will allow children and families to immerse in outdoor learning, through outdoor play.
Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, is being awarded in recognition of the charity’s continued play support it provides disadvantaged families and children within the Bradford District.
Play Bradford, has supported vulnerable children throughout the pandemic by providing outdoor adventure play sessions and has seen a huge improvement in the children’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The charity hopes that the instalment of The Natural Fun zone will enable them to provide even further support to the city’s most disadvantaged children and families.
As research suggests, outdoor learning and interacting with the natural world has a wealth of benefits, which include increasing children’s educational resilience, wellbeing and attainment. Reasons why Play Bradford, want to maximise the use of the site’s outdoor space and offer a further level of educational, emotional and cognitive support to aid children’s development and integration back into society.
Janet Jewitt, Manager of Play Bradford, told Charity Today:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be awarded the National Lottery Community Fund grant; it’s been a really challenging time for us all, however, we’re really grateful that we can now extend our service offering to support those children and families most in need.
Throughout our summer sessions, the children regularly stated they felt anxious, missed their friends and were worried about going back to school, which is why we felt there was no better time to start our Natural Fun project. We also hope that by giving the children a voice about the zone’s design, will aid their mental stability, focus and increase their knowledge of the natural environment.
Once developed, we will invite children and families in safe bubbles to access the zone and enjoy holistic, natural play. We also hope to work with external groups and schools to incorporate the national curriculum within the activities as we understand that outdoor learning will be an integral part of rebalancing children’s mental health, confidence and resilience.’
Play Bradford, will work with local children who will help design the space and be active participators of the project. The charity will also work with local businesses and volunteers to build The Natural Fun zone and welcomes anyone who wants to be involved to get in touch. Please email email@example.com to show interest in The Natural Fun zone.