Derbyshire groups receive £18,300 boost from Severn Trent Community Fund

11th January 2024

Two community groups in Derbyshire have received grant funding of £18,357 from the Severn Trent Community Fund.

Kenning Park Community Forest School has received a grant of £9,737 for an outdoor activity and wellbeing programme to support adults with poor mental health.

Based in Kenning Park in Clay Cross, the Kenning Park Community Forest School is open to everyone and runs all year round, offering free session to children from deprived backgrounds. The school offers a wide range of sessions on topics including foraging, cooking outdoors and overnight camping.

Part of the programme’s aim will be to improve the forest school area by converting overgrown areas into places families can bring children to play and explore, and to create new specialist areas such as bird feeding stations, wildflower areas and art projects, alongside building shelters and natural play area.

Michaela Garner from Kenning Park Community Forest School, said: “Since the coronavirus pandemic, when many people experienced distress, loneliness or anxiety, there has been an increased public awareness of the benefits of regular access to green spaces. Our aim is to give adults local to Kenning Park free, accessible forest school sessions.

“We have built up over the last five years, growing from a group of friends meeting up in the woods with a fire bowl and a hammock to a fully-fledged forest school run by a trained forest school leader. This funding will be a huge help in extending the support that we offer across our community.”

Community leisure centre, Killamarsh Active has received funding of £8,620 for a mobile recreation wall. 

Killamarsh Active has recently reopened after a two-and-a-half-year closure due to the pandemic, followed by a programme of refurbishment.

North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Cllr Kathy Rouse said: “As a council our aim is to go beyond offering leisure facilities and create a community hubs.  We’ve made huge progress in this and are already home to the local library, the Killamarsh Bears pre-school and a Performing Arts group, and host SEN soft play sessions at our Killamarsh Active facility.

“We surveyed the local community to find out what they wanted and received really positive feedback on the idea of installing the wall, particularly from groups that already use our spaces and this funding will add another dimension to what we can offer, while promoting physical wellbeing, an active lifestyle, provides a social aspect and offers young people in the area something else that they can do.”

Sue Heyes, Severn Community Fund Officer, said: “It’s always fantastic to be able to provide funding to groups like these that are working so hard to improve the lives of other people in their communities.

“The work that both Killamarsh Active and Kenning Park Community Forest School are undertaking, particularly in supporting and improving peoples' mental health, is wonderful and we're genuinely really pleased to be able to support their work through the Community Fund.”

For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit