Trust’s funding for scheme to turn acorns into oaks

Children taking part in a 'forest school'.
Children taking part in a 'forest school'.

Schoolchildren from military families in Northumberland will be taking part in a scheme being run by a wildlife charity that hopes to boost well-being.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust is excited to have received a grant to become part of a Big Lottery Fund Well-Being programme to work with groups of military families.

The Well-Being in the East programme, being delivered by Enable East, aims to raise the well-being levels of thousands of people in the North East as well as the east of England and Lincolnshire through a number of local initiatives.

The charity will deliver a programme of wildlife projects, entitled Acorns to Oaks, with six schools (two per term) over a 13-month period.

The schools, including those in Longhoughton and Alnwick, were chosen because of their proximity to RAF Boulmer.

According to the Children’s Education Advisory Service, military families experience frequent job/school/house moves and parental absences which can cause social isolation and stress, particularly for children.

Acorns to Oaks will see the charity’s people and wildlife team introducing a programme in each school to include three days on one of the Trust’s reserves, a Family Celebration Day, offering a chance for all families (military and non-military) to get together and go wild, and a Growing Club, which will ensure that the wildlife charity’s legacy continues, not to mention two assemblies offering children the opportunity to showcase their work to their friends, parents and members of the local community.

Tracy Evans, Northumberland Wildlife Trust people and wildlife officer, said: “Acorns to Oaks is going to be a wonderful project and I’m so pleased we have received funding from The Big Lottery Fund to run it, which just goes to show that, even in this current economic climate when funding for projects is becoming more difficult to secure, support for military personnel and their families is just as strong.”

Susannah Howard, director of Enable East, said: “We are delighted to have Northumberland Wildlife Trust as part of our well-being in the East portfolio.

“Through this programme we can help reach people who may not otherwise be able to access important support and information relating to their well-being.

“We are particularly keen to engage armed forces families, so the Acorns to Oaks project fits really well within our aims.”