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Educational woodlands project wins support
A PROJECT to teach school children about woodlands has won support to help it set up as a social enterprise.
KindleWoods is a project set up by Katie Rees, a former employee at the Wildlife Trust who has also worked with local charity St Nicholas Fields on an environmental education project for young people.
Katie, 28, of York, and a team of six volunteers currently run Forest schools in which children build dens and shelters and get their hands dirty, and works with local schools, such as Easingwold Community Primary School, community groups and families to teach them practical woodland skills.
Katie applied to the School for Social Entrepreneurs, a programme run by Lloyds Banking Group to help develop the project, which she runs as a sole trader, although the revenues made from fees go to paying for renting the woodland space she uses.
After a lengthy application process involving a written application, interview and pitching competition, she won £4,000 to help develop the project into a limited company as a social enterprise, accompanied by a learning programme with mentoring.
A social enterprise is managed as a business, rather than a charity, but with the aim of maximising benefit for the community rather than profits.
This means the company will appoint a board and the funding will help expand the project, which she said gave much more to the children than just woodland skills, she said.
“It’s helping the holistic development of children and young people.
They gradually build up their skills such as social skills and team skills.”