Teachers, parents and guardians everywhere understand that getting outside offers endless learning opportunities for young people. Outdoor, play-based learning not only keeps children active but it has been proven to boost wellbeing and have a positive impact on behaviour.
Through our Unlocking Social Value programme our contractor, Charleton Fencing, has helped four organisations in the region to improve their outdoor areas and boost their outdoor learning delivery with the donation of forest school equipment.
Wishing Well Community Primary School in Whickham, Young and Sweet Youth Project in Haltwhistle, Stomping Ground Forestry School in Prudhoe and Ravensworth Terrace Primary School in Birtley, all received a mixture of high-quality equipment from the joinery contractor, including wooden mud kitchens, benches and seating, bird boxes and even wooden go karts.
Jimmy Charleton, Founder and Company Director of Charleton Fencing, explained how the donation came about. “When Karbon matched us with the Forest School projects as part of our social value commitment I saw the opportunity to put the skills we have in our business to great use, by making and donating equipment to help with outdoor learning.
“The project grew from there with bespoke items being donated to several causes and we were especially happy to help out Ravensworth Terrace Primary after hearing their outdoor learning area had been damaged. Making the items is something I really enjoyed doing and it was great for me and the team to deliver them and see the difference they will make to the community projects and schools.”
As Jimmy mentioned, for the staff at Ravensworth Terrace Primary School the donation of a new mud kitchen was extra special. During lockdown the school’s previous mud kitchen had been badly damaged by vandals, leaving the school facing an expensive bill to get it replaced.
The school applied for a grant from our Supporting Residents fund to help cover the cost and were over the moon to hear that Charleton Fencing would replace the kitchen for free, so that the whole £1,000 grant could be used to further develop their Forestry School Project.
The staff and pupils of the school shared their thanks with us.
“The pupils, staff and parents had worked so hard to create a fantastic outdoor learning area of the school, which each year group enjoyed using, so when it was destroyed by vandals we were all devastated. The support from Karbon Homes and Charlton Fencing has been invaluable, giving the children back their wonderful outdoor learning area with a fantastic new mud kitchen, bird hides, bird boxes and friendship benches to name a few.
“These outdoor learning experiences are hugely beneficial to our pupils development, physically and emotionally. The skills they build outside, including confidence, resilience and communication, all come back into the classroom and boost their learning in so many ways.
“We give our heartfelt thanks to both Karbon Homes and Charlton Fencing for all of their hard work and support.”
Our Unlocking Social Value programme is one of the many ways we shape strong, sustainable places for our communities. However big or small, the commitments our contractors and suppliers make through the programme make a huge difference in the places that we work and to the lives of those who live there.
To find out more about our Unlocking Social Value programme, contact email@example.com.