Two of our Family Support Workers who are Forest School Practitioners have run Forest and Sea School sessions for families they support across the bay, over the Summer holidays. This gave families a point of access over the summer; a time of year when all so often our vulnerable families in the bay are left to ‘cope’ once the schools close down for the summer break. The sessions promoted opportunities for parents and children to learn and enjoy our diverse environment we in Torbay are so lucky to have around us.
Louise has linked in with Coast and Countryside Trust and the Zoo, enabling appropriate safe environments within the bay to be used for these sessions. Some sessions were at Primley Woods Forest school site, which isn’t accessible to the public and spaces within Cockington Country Park.
Sessions promoted adult/child interaction and team building within the groups. Parents/carers were encouraged to ‘get down’ to their children’s level and share these learning experiences, giving them ideas to go off and do together after the sessions. Controlled ‘risk taking’ is a big part of these sessions, giving children freedom and a chance to climb trees or roll down muddy banks in a safe environment.
In Torbay we have a lot of families who have moved to the area with very little wider family, making these families isolated and vulnerable. These sessions encourage parents/carers to make new friends and build their own confidence and self-esteem with practitioners they already know and trust and have relationships with.
We have been lucky enough to have received some funding from The Roslin Hall charity that Louise works closely with. This charity is a valuable part of our partnership working and often funding to the vulnerable families we support, to purchase furniture and white goods from Anode (another valuable charity for our Family Support Workers to work in partnership with).
Louise approached Roslin Hall with a proposal for Summer 2017, enabling Louise to purchase Forest/Sea School equipment/resources. Clearly the lovely people at Roslin Hall including Simon Brookman and Sue Macleod felt this was a worthwhile cause and agreed to fund this project. Thus impacting on a number of Torbay families.
We would like to take this opportunity in thanking Roslin Hall for their continued support and positive impact they have upon our Torbay families, making sometimes what seems the impossible be possible!