A Glossop-based forest school is looking for other local businesses and individuals to help sponsor places for underprivileged children this summer.
Inside Out Forest Schools have donated 20 places themselves on their summer schools, but are now looking for others across the area to do the same.
Founder Esther Brock works in schools across Tameside and Glossop during term time, and says she has seen first hand the boost that outdoor learning gives to children’s education.
“During the lockdown I was still working in schools with key worker children, vulnerable children and children from underprivileged backgrounds,” she said.
“I noticed that these kids really flourished and benefited from Forest School. I would love to open up Forest School to these kids in the holidays, but it’s not always the case because of the way the business works, you have to pay for a day there and sometimes families just can’t afford that.”
To help out families, Esther is now looking for businesses to sponsor a place for a child in the great outdoors.
One hundred places for her summer classes have been reserved for the scheme and Esther has written to local headteachers to invite children who would benefit most from a spot.
She said: “I’ve been to headteachers of schools around Glossop and Ashton and I asked for them to put together lists of children who they think would benefit from a day or a couple of days at one of our holiday camps.
“We’re putting 20 places out there and I’d love it if we could get up to 100 places. I’ve held that many back which could then be taken by these children. The idea then is that hopefully local businesses will get on board and sponsor a child at holiday camp for the day or more days.
“In return, as a business you would then get your name on our website and Facebook page as a big thank you at the end.”
Bookings for the schools launched just over a week ago and sold in record time, a rush Esther described as being ‘like Glastonbury.’
Each place costs £25 and will cover the cost of the day as well as dinner and transport to and from the site.
Esther says she’s keen to give back to the community who have done so much to support her business during the pandemic.
She explained: “It was a surprise because last year we did very well and we were very busy but we had the lockdown. No one could go anywhere so we were very busy.
“This year we’ve opened up and can go on holiday again so I wasn’t really expecting that or as fast as it sold out.”
If any individuals or businesses would like to sponsor a place for a child, you can do so on their website at https://www.insideoutforestschool.com/2021/06/sponsor-child-at-summer-camp.html