Young people get back to nature at summer forest school, thanks to PCC’s Youth Diversion Fund


Young people in St Helens get back to nature at a summer forest school funded through the Police Commissioner’s Youth Diversion Fund.

More than 60 young people, aged between five and 11 have had the chance to try a variety of outdoor activities including den building, campfire cooking, wood craft, and foraging skills at the sessions delivered by My Outdoor Classroom CIC as part of a summer of vital engagement projects funded by the Police Commissioner.

In total, 23 projects have benefitted from a share of £100,000 from the Fund, giving more than 2,500 young people across Merseyside the opportunity to take part in positive, fun, exciting activities during the six-week summer holidays.

The money has been focused in areas where youth provision and community activities have been cut back following years of austerity, with a focus on providing young people with better opportunities and the chance to try new experiences and gain skills, while helping to prevent a spike in crime and anti-social behaviour which can occur during the summer months.

Emily Spurrell joined one of the My Outdoor Classroom forest school sessions at the Shining Light Centre in Sutton Manor on Wednesday 30th August to see first-hand the difference the summer sessions are having for young people in St Helens.

The My Outdoor Classroom CIC forest school aims to reconnect children with nature, providing a hands-on experience in a natural setting which helps to increase their health, well-being and confidence. Sessions encourage exploration and knowledge-gathering, equip young people with problem-solving skills and increase resilience.

Lisa Bostock, My Outdoor Classroom CIC said: "In the growth of the local community, thinking about nature, looking after our natural spaces, educating the next generation on the importance of the seasons and learning how to cook outdoors or light a fire and nature play, I think for the local community it something that builds pride."