We love to support the outdoor community whenever we can. This month we asked you to nominate groups.
Community giveaway winners
Every once in a while we accumulate a little pile of products where the packaging has been damaged but the goods themselves are fine, end of line items or surplus stock. All in perfectly good nick, and we want it to go to good homes.
A couple of weeks ago we decided to offer a bundle to a community project - we invited nominations for projects or community groups that work with disadvantaged or under-represented groups.
We had a really great response. And found it impossible to pick only one winner.
So we created five bundles of goodies for five amazing community projects - and we thought you might like to hear about them.
Community winner 1
We sent a clothing bundle to Milburn Community Playgroup in County Derry, NI
Paula McIntyre nominated her own group - and rightly so! Paula said:
"I wish to nominate my own group please. Millburn Community Playgroup is based in an area of disadvantage with high levels of unemployment ... I feel reaching out to the local community is good for children in so many ways and also helpful to build up self-esteem and confidence in the unemployed.
I have recently placed an order with Muddy Faces and I am astonished at the prices which are so manageable and realistic for groups! Keep up the good work!"
MIlburn Community Playgroup Facebook page
Community winner 2
We also sent a clothing bundle to Sprig Ludens Forest School Nursery, London
John Massingham nominated this project, run by Streatham Youth & Community Trust's early years and play team. He said:
"Really community minded and driven - work with Early Help referrals and the Lonesome Way Traveller community to name but a few...
The efforts of the staff are amazing. They have a great DIY spirit - building mud kitchens, putting up tents and building dens with children. They are all so dedicated to making a difference in their lives of all in the community.
The manager of the nursery produced 80-100 meals for 10 weeks of lockdown for local families, before working very hard to relaunch the nursery and welcome kids back to the amazing natural playground.
You can hear children laughing and playing when you enter the park. Its wonderful and a hidden gem."
Find out more about Sprig Ludens here.
Thanks to John for sending these lovely photos.
Community winner 3
We sent a bundle of garden forks & bug watchers to Wildlings Community Group, Doncaster
This group provides accessible and inclusive outdoor learning, nurture and well-being sessions and forest school - and had 4 glowing nominations!
Katy said "They are run by volunteers and are free of charge for vulnerable children living in poverty suffering social isolation."
A 2nd Katy said: "They only set up in October and have suffered substantial flooding before Xmas and now a global pandemic. The group works with autistic children and children who live in disadvantaged areas of Doncaster. A little set like this would make a real difference."
Rachael said "They hold fab free session that educate and encourage children to look after the environment and explore in a fun, organic way. My 2 SEN boys attend the sessions and they love it."
Pearl said: "The group are brilliant at offering tailored sessions to children and provide excellent care, learning, education, and tonnes of fun! They’d be a really worthy winner."
Wildings website / Wildings on Facebook
Thanks to Wildings for their photo of just some of the goodies in their bundle.
Community winner 4
We sent a box of campfire grills & trivets to Rewild Play, south Wales
Nature and child-directed play for children in South Wales, plus opportunities for children with disabilities and ALN, and their carers, to access support in a natural environment. Nominator Lauren Powell said:
"I have to nominate the amazing Rewild Play, they are based in Wales and they have supported so many children and families with additional needs.
Sian has gone above and beyond delivering food parcels, sending out sensory packs to children - parent and carer packs to us frazzled parents too. I'm an autism mum and all services has ceased to an extent during this lockdown and if it wasn't for Friends of Rewild Play and their amazing support I would be lost.
They offer parents and carers forest bathing and a space at an allotment, this is something that has helped me so much. This amazing charity provides an out of this world forest school to ALN children and families, brilliant music classes, youth clubs and trips out ( like super tubing and gymnastics ) all in a safe and non judgemental environment.
Being outdoors improves everyone's wellbeing and mental health, Rewild play and its users could really benefit from these items, they are a charity and rely on donations and funding."
Rewild Play on Facebook / Rewild Play website
Community winner 5
We sent Mud Pie Explorers in Bristol a bundle including a tarp, hammock, saw & drill
A CIC providing Forest School and other child led outdoor learning experiences in a local woodland and educational settings. They had 2 nominations.
Nickie, who runs the project, said: "We support children with a range of additional needs - they are mud loving, bug hunting, bird spotting, star gazing, giggletastic explorers!"
"Mid Pie Explorers in Downend, Bristol should get this kit because of all the hard work they do with children with additional needs.
Damon and Nickie are amazing and give up so much of their time to share information with schools and parents and really care about the children they work with. They have been a godsend to so many parents."
Mud Pie Explorers Facebook page / Mud PIe Explorers website.