In the summer of 2017 we were successful in getting some grant funding from Mid Sussex District Council to run some free family forest school taster sessions. We decided to use some of this to trial some sessions for families with children with additional needs - somewhere families could come along with all their children to relax, have fun and feel supported. We linked up with local charity Special Families, East Grinstead and we all had an amazing time. The feedback was hugely positive and we realised that there is a big demand for this type of provision.
Since then, Special Families East Grinstead were successful in getting their own funding for monthly forest school sessions for their members and we have been running these for them in Turners Hill. This site is very accessible, there is plenty of parking and there are toilets available too (including a disabled toilet, albeit quite basic) but it works really well as a venue. If you are interested in coming along and live in East Grinstead or the surrounding villages please click on their link at the bottom of this page.
Recently, we have been successful with our bids to Sussex Community Foundation, Greggs Foundation, and Gatwick Airport Community Trust and can now offer more sessions for families with children with additional needs. Our newest group is called 'Dragonflies' and is aimed at families with children aged up to 6. This term we ran some Dragonflies sessions from our site in East Grinstead and we are looking to provide more next term. Dates are currently still being worked out.
We would really love to develop our SEN sessions in the Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath area too and are looking for groups to work with. We will be going to some Play And Learn Plus (PALP) sessions in Haywards Heath on 4 Fridays in July and August to talk to families about what we do and to demonstrate some Forest School activities. If you are a parent of a child or children with special needs living in this area and belong to this group, it would be great to see you there.
If you are interested in finding out more about our new Dragonflies groups please read the link below:
If you have any further questions about what we do, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively if you would like to book your child on to our Dragonflies group please go to our booking page (bookings open in August pending a decision on the best day to run them!)
We are really keen to continue to develop this aspect of our work; opening forest school up to more and more families with different backgrounds and abilities. We know there is so much forest school can offer to children and their families, whether it be a space to relax together, a non-hurried child led world of discovery or simply a chance to get really muddy! Do subscribe to our mailing list so you can hear about any further developments as they happen.