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2016 Aberdeenshire Grants

This year, the Jo Walters Trust decided to focus its Aberdeenshire grants on an area which has previously produced some very successful projects from our grants, education in the outdoors. We called for applications for funding of up to £2,000 from any projects in Aberdeenshire that were promoting or facilitating education outdoors. We had some super responses, and are very pleased to announce that the following projects were successful in their application for funding, between them applying for and being approved for a total of £5,990 in funding:

  • Strathdon Primary School, forest school: £850: this will be used to provide opportunities for the pupils of Strathdon primary to develop self-confidence and a sense of purpose and achievement. They aim to achieve this whilst providing structure and training which forms an ideal precursor through the Adventure Service Challenge scheme, a precursor to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The funds will pay for outdoor learning tutors, first aid training and ASC record cards.
  • Networks of Wellbeing Ltd (cycling at Gordon Schools, Huntly): £1,700: this project will work with pupils and staff from the Support for Learning Department team within the Gordon Schools, Huntly, to deliver a cycle based project including basic bike maintenance prior to led cycle rides in the local countryside. converting toddlers bikes to 'balance bikes' to be donated to local nursery groups, as well as providing training for NoW staff to upgrade bike maintenance qualifications from Velotech Silver to Gold Award level. This project aims to address a gap in provision for pupils with additional needs with NoW agreeing to deliver the project within the SFL Department in the school.
  • Logie Coldstone Primary School for skiing, £900: Logie Coldstone is a very small school with only 22 pupils in all and team sport is thus not an option for the school. To bring the children together in a joint outdoor sporting activity and make the most of the area's natural ressources, this grant will pay half of the costs to take the pupils to their local ski centre, the Lecht. All 22 pupils from P1 to P7 will take part in the 2-day ski trip which includes ski instruction.
  • Aboyne Primary School - Cycle Training, £900: the grant from the Jo Walters Trust will support and improve the extracurricular cycling activities on offer at Aboyne Primary School, including mountain biking and cycle maintenance and repair,
  • Aberlour Trust - forest school, £1,640: The Aberlour Trust is a Scottish children’s charity, providing help to over 6000 of Scotland’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families each year, We have approved them for a grant which will pay for a staff member to undertake the Level 3 Forest Schools Practitioner award through Forest Schools Scotland. Once trained, staff will then be qualified to take small groups of young people into local forests, where they will get the opportunity to learn, play and explore outdoors, something many of the young people who are helped by the Aberlour Trust struggle to access but that their peers take for granted. The grant will also pay for 5 sets of waterproof clothing and footwear, plus rucksacks for use in forest environments. To download a copy of their report, click here

2016 Maths Grant Awards

maths 1The Jo Walters Trust, in collaboration with the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM), was absolutely thrilled to receive such a great response to our call for applications for grants for up to £1,000 to help with teaching maths.  We received 33 applications of a very high standard across a huge range of areas, ages and styles of teaching. Whittling down the list was very hard, but with the kind help of the ATM we managed to settle on the 6 projects we felt were most in line with our aims. Initially we had only offered to fund 3 grants, but as the applicants had costed their applications carefully and had only asked for what they needed we were delighted that by boosting the fund a tiny amount we were able to make 6 grants in the end. We wish the recipients lots of luck in implementing the projects, and look forward to sharing the results of how they have fared in due course.

  • Gateway Academy in Blackpool, Practical Maths through Cooking - £750: Linda Balshaw, from the Gateway Academy in Blackpool, is going to start an after-school enrichment program to counter her pupils’ belief that maths has no use in the real world. With measuring equipment, cooking, and planning pricing for shopping trips, they’ll soon discover that not all mathematicians are teachers! This first year it will be Year 2 and Year 3 students who benefit, and many of the sessions will take place outside, which will be a positive change as many live in rented accommodation with limited outside space.
  • Walthamstow School for Girls, Maths Cafe - £500: Walthamstow School for Girls is going to fulfil a long-held dream of starting a Maths-Cafe each half term, led by Sally Robinson. Whilst eating Algebrownies and Mathemallows, the whole school will appreciate the Mathematical decor, puzzles and competitions, raising the profile of maths in the school. The organising team will use maths in planning and running the cafe as a business, in the hope that the cafe will eventually self-fund and even generate a profit for charity.
  • Vinney Green Secure Unit, Physical Velcro Aids - £750: teaches young people on remand or sentenced for an offence, who often do not respond well to traditional methods. They are going to implement a physically interactive teaching system to engage their students better. Using velcro, facts, questions, diagrams and more will be attached to the walls, enabling displays to change regularly and even within a lesson, as students choose their own questions and make links in a physical way.
  • Crooksbarn Primary School, Maths Library - £600: Gavin Brownless from Crooksbarn Primary School in Norton is going to buy resources for a Maths library. This will allow all year 1s and year 2s to take Maths games home for a week at a time and to engage their families in the mathematical learning. Families already are encouraged to read together; now they will be able to develop their numeracy, problem solving and Mathematical knowledge together whilst having fun.
  • East Midlands ATM, Royal Institution masterclass for KS3 at National Space Centre - £500: Robert Smith, from the East Midlands ATM, is going to use funding to further support the Royal Institution lectures, to enrich KS3 students learning, as well as running a session for PGCE students and supporting a session for experienced teachers at the ATM Maths conference.
  • Wolverhampton Home Education Group, Building Giant Mandalas - £220: Jennifer Williams from Wolverhampton Home Education Group is going to enthuse local families on World Maths Day, by enabling them to build giant mandalas as a Mathematical Art installation at a local community centre. This should encourage them to approach their mathematical studies in a more creative way and we look forward to seeing some exciting pictures of the creations in due course.

Apply for a 2016 Aberdeenshire Grant

In 2016, a number of grants of up to £2,000 each will be made available by the Jo Walters Trust for people or organisations with a strong link to Aberdeenshire. This year, the trust is inviting applications that will provide educational opportunities to people in the outdoors. 

We are calling for applications for outdoor educational projects as we have had some big successes in this area in the past and would like to help more projects that seek to educate using the outdoors. From the outward bound expeditions she did at school, to sailing adventures and her time in the OTC doing army training, Jo Walters was the product of plenty of time outdoors and believed it had huge benefits, both phyiscal and mental. We believe she would want more people to get the benefits that she did and so are keen to offer finance to help this happen. 

A few projects we have supported so far that might provide inspiration to anyone applying for a grant are as follows:

  • craigievar primary forest schoolCraigievar Primary forest school - we funded the purchase of the equipment the school needed to get this going. Since they bought the equipment all pupils regularly spend time in the woods around Craigievar as part of their school curriculum. 
  • Skillforce: We gave £2,000 for a SkillForce programme of activities, awards and qualifications for 15 young people in S3 at the Gordon Schools in Huntly. This built their skills, confidence and self-esteem. As part of the SkillForce back on track programme, the children were` encouraged to be aware of, and take responsibility for, the natural environment, navigate the countryside and demonstrate knowledge of the Countryside Code. They include the Duke of Edinburgh Award (Bronze), the National Navigation Scheme Award and a week of adventure activities set to the skills and confidence levels of the young people.
  • Outward Bound Trust: while Ayrshire, not Aberdeenshire based, this grant took children from James Hamilton academy in Kilmarnock to Loch Eil for an outward bound week-end. One of the students, Stuart, 13, said afterwards '[WHEN I HAD CLIMBED BEN NEVIS, I FELT] HAPPY, SO HAPPY [AND] PROUD.

James Hamilton Academy Outward Bound Trust Kayakers

To apply for one of the Jo Walters Trust Aberdeenshire grants in 2016, please fill in answers to the questions below. Do take your time to fill it in, and perhaps gather all the information elsewhere before filling it in here. We're keen to help you to apply, so if you have any questions do feel free to contact for advice or with questions.


The deadline for applications is 31st August 2016

Terms and Conditions:

Applicants must:

  • Show that their project will provide education in the outdoors
  • Have a strong connection to Aberdeenshire to qualify for the grant.
  • Show why the money is required to complete the project
  • Be willing to fund-raise up to half the amount required themselves.
  • Show a full breakdown of how the money will be spent.
  • Be willing to write a report of the project afterwards, ideally including photographs and video footage.
  • Be willing to come and speak on behalf of the trust to generate interest for future grants/fundraising events.

The Trust's decision as to who will receive the grants is final.

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