New charity puts young people in touch with nature

Year 2 pupils from Morecambe Bay Community Primary School visiting RSPB Leighton Moss.
Year 2 pupils from Morecambe Bay Community Primary School visiting RSPB Leighton Moss.

A charitable trust launched to help young people enjoy nature has so far helped more than 200 children.

The Areti Charitable Trust was set up at the end of 2017 to help any young person living locally to enjoy the benefits of being in nature and being in touch with nature.

The trustees are also particularly keen to support applications which allow young people from disadvantaged social groups, or who in live in challenging financial circumstances, to have access to such life-enhancing experiences.

In the six months of its existence, Areti has already made a number of grants.

These include several to primary schools to visit the RSPB’s Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve to learn more about birds, mini-beasts and pond dipping.

Carol Bamber, learning officer at Leighton Moss, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant that so many school children from the Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham area are benefiting from the generosity of the trust.

“So far the trust has funded five primary schools, and over 200 children have enjoyed learning outdoors and engaging with nature through our formal learning sessions.

“We are very excited that five more funded schools are due to visit soon and hopefully more will come in the autumn term.

“The RSPB is committed to ensuring that young people connect with nature and the Areti Trust is enabling us to reach more children than ever before.”

At the opposite end of the Areti age spectrum, a grant has also been made to Lancashire Youth Challenge (LYC).

Yak Patel, an LYC trustee, said: “The grant from Areti will enable young people who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to take part in a life-changing program that empowers them to realise that they are capable of overcoming barriers and, with support, they can go onto more successful pathways.

“The funding will be used to provide training and equipment for 15 young people to participate in a week-long residential during August 2018 which encompasses canoeing the Great Caledonian Canal in Scotland.”

The Areti Charitable Trust welcomes applications for funding from organisations, schools or individuals living in the local area who meet the eligibility criteria.

There are two deadlines each year for the review of applications: June 30 and December 31.

The trust is administered by Gary Rycroft of Lancaster solicitors Joseph A Jones & Co, and you can find out more on the trust’s website at thearetitrust.com.