South Downs National Park secures funding in time to support Children’s Mental Health Week

A SCHEME to fight climate change and support young people’s mental health has been backed for the second year running.

By Elsa Waterfield
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 2:41 pm

As Children’s Mental Health Week comes to a close, the South Downs National Park Trust has announced that more than 1,400 disadvantaged young people will be able to enjoy an outdoor learning adventure this year.

The trust is helping to give grants to aid local communities and connect children and young people with nature to enhance and improve their mental health.

It comes after the South Downs National Park Trust, an independent charity which aims to enrich and protect the South Downs National Park, has been provided with a new round of funding supported by AMEX and the Sussex Community Foundation.

Education classes for schoolchildren in the National Park Picture: Jeff Travis

Schools from across the south east will be able to apply for grant support so that they may offer hands-on conservation work to their pupils, from wildlife surveying, practical geography and geology to learning ways to tackle climate change.

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The initiative builds on the success of last year's grants scheme as thousands of children enjoyed school trips or took part in nature-based activities.

Julie Fawcett, chair of the South Downs National Park Trust, said: ‘We’re really excited to be able to provide funding once again for these vital school grants.

Caption: Jonathan Dean Education Officer for South Downs National Park Picture: Jeff Travis

‘School trips and outdoor learning are such an important part of growing up and learning more about the world.’

Meon Junior School, in Southsea, took 52 Year 6 pupils for a residential trip last June.

The outdoor learning opportunities were planned to enhance their work and teachers said it ‘ensured every child has access to a full enriching curriculum.’

The scheme has been praised as grants are ‘so easy’ to apply to, opening up opportunities to schoolchildren all over the South.

Jonathan Dean, education officer for the National Park will be helping to run the scheme.

Jonathan said: ‘Outdoor education should be part of all young people’s learning and development, and understanding more about the natural world serves a wider purpose to inspire young people into future action and careers that support a green recovery.’

For more information or to apply for a grant visit

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