Funding Learning Through Nature

The People's Postcode Lottery Trust has three simple yet life-changing aims; to promote human rights, prevent poverty, and combat discrimination. This ties in well with what we aim to do here at Element and the Learning Through Nature project addresses the third aim of the Trust.

Evidence shows that 14-18 year-olds with SEND often have limited access to outdoor space. We're working with schools like Talbot Specialist School and Bents Green School to change this. Learning Through Nature does as it says in the name. It is about these young people exploring the outdoors and learning through nature around them. Students on the programme attend sessions run across local parks in Sheffield, and tailored activities run in collaboration with the National Trust.

Former project officer, Nabeela, said:

The project is an all-round favourite. We have always received positive feedback from participants, school staff, as well as staff and volunteers at Element. Learning through nature has incredible benefits for all those involved, and I strongly believe it is an experience like no other.

Unrestricted support during the pandemic

After granting us funding to help us continue to run our Learning Through Nature programme in late 2019, those plans were soon put on hold due to the pandemic. As time went on, it became increasingly clear that Covid restrictions and the uncertainty around their longevity meant that we wouldn't be able to run the project in a way that gave the young people the experience the project should do, and in October 2020, PPL allowed us to use the grant as unrestricted funds to support the longevity of the charity. This was hugely important to us, as Brand Manager, Matt explains:

Being able to use use the PPL funds to support the charity more broadly was huge for us. Ultimately it protected jobs at Element Society and helped our financial security in difficult times, but the knock-on effect of that was that we were able to keep project officers dedicated to the projects they were working on to keep the young people engaged during online sessions. This meant that whenever we have been allowed to run in-person work, we've been able to maximise what we can do, and build up a load of momentum coming out of the other side.

To find out more about PPL, visit their website.