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2018 Aberdeenshire Grants

In 2018, the Jo Walters Trust again welcomed applications to fund projects which provide education in the outdoors in Aberdeenshire. We received some really interesting applications and after the successful fundraising and generous donations in the last year or so were able to increase the total budget from £6,000 to a record £11,000, meaning there were 8 recipients rather than 3. These were:
  • Banchory Academy: £500 to create an outdoor space at the school to bring the classroom outdoors and create a wildlife garden, an area for outdoor cooking, growing and cooking our own produce and forest schools activities. The work the pupils will undertake as part of this project will help them achieve the John Muir Award and RSPB Wild Challenge.

  • Outdoor Woodland Learning School CIC: £2,000 to train staff in using horses to support therapeutic input for children in Aberdeenshire with additional support needs (ASN). The children with whom they work display abusive behaviours towards school staff, their peers and their parents. These children benefit from time in the outdoors to relax and develop skills. Using horses in this way will enable the children to decrease their levels of anxiety and increase their life long skills to manage their anxiety.

  • Transition Extreme Sports Ltd (SC036358): We have awarded this charity £2,000 to provide an alternative for young people at risk of taking part in risk-taking and anti-social behaviour while providing positive community engagement in regeneration areas of Aberdeen. They are doing this through running skatepark coaching sessions in local communities and making use of local facilities which are often underused.

  • Aboyne Canoe Club SCIO (SC047329): £1,500 to pay for suitably sized equipment (wetsuits, drysuits, buoyancy aids etc) for the young people in their club and summer camps. With suitable kit they will be able to take more young people out on the water, the equipment will be safer and they will be able to be out for longer, learning more as a result.

  • 1st Kemnay Scouts (Charity Number SC039162): We have awarded this scount group £2,000 to go towards the £4,000 of a new marquee to replace their second hand aging army marquee that has served the Scout group well since 1947! They tell us that it is (understandably!) starting to show signs of wear and tear now that it is 70 years old and has reached the stage where it is more costly to repair than replace. We have to commend them heartily in their make do and mend attitude in keeping the 1940s one going for so long!

  • Mucky Boots: £1,000 to pay for NESOLG Forest School Level 3 training for a member of staff. The training covers both child development and forest skills, and it will enable their teachers to lead outdoor education sessions independently, thereby enhancing and expanding the opportunities provided to Aberdeenshire children and schools.

  • Gordon Schools, Huntly: we have awarded £1,000 to help the school to replace necessary safety equipment to re-open their climbing wall and make it accessible to a wider range of physical abilities, with the goal of using this teaching environment as a gateway to outdoor excursions, visiting local destinations for adventure activities. The re-opened climbing wall will create a safe, challenging and open facility for the school and wider community.

  • Aboyne Academy Alternative Curriculum Group:  £1,000 to introduce an alternative curriculum project for groups of pupils that would benefit from learning new skills in cycle maintenance & riding skills. The project would aim to develop pupils confidence in problem solving, leadership & team skills. It would allow pupils to enjoy the local outdoor environment & learn skills in map reading, discovering local flora & fauna and the history of the area. Ultimately they hope to increase the team members' confidence so that they may help others in local outdoor groups & increase their prospects in getting a job they will enjoy in the future.

All the groups have undertaken to provide us with updates as the projects get underway so we hope to be able to share news of these very soon.

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