Hundreds of Chester children get back to nature thanks to Passion for Learning project

31st January 2024

Hundreds of children in Chester have been able to experience the great outdoors thanks to Passion for Learning’s nature-based project.

The charity launched brand new sessions thanks to funding from Severn Trent’s Community Fund to help youngsters access the natural environment.

Platform for Learning was awarded £9,425 by the fund as the team noticed that the challenges of the past few years had impacted disproportionately on the children that they support, with many becoming isolated within their communities and playing outside something that they rarely do.

The idea of their ‘Nature Play’ scheme was to provide a Nature Play Day to children in the 12 schools that they currently support, encouraging the children and their families to play outside and enjoy the areas that they can easily access.

Over the past year, the activities have become a huge success with 312 children taking part - it saw a change in their attitude to try new outdoor activities and the feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive.

The success of working with families has led Passion for Learning to establish two new Enrichment Clubs, both with an open invitation to parents to come along on a regular basis. One club is specifically aimed at outdoor activities and gardening and parents are working with children to establish a small community garden beside a local church.

Diane Clark, CEO of Passion for Learning, said: “The children love to be in the fresh air, and this project has given so many families the confidence to access open spaces, try new ways to enjoy nature and encourage their children to play outside.”

Passion for Learning was established over 11 years ago, and they train, resource and support community volunteers to work with disadvantaged children and families in the Chester area.

They provide 1:1 support, clubs, trips and events that draw upon the children's interests to provide exciting activities that improve well-being and give them the experiences that they need to flourish, learn and fulfil their potential.

Activities give children new opportunities, and their volunteers support literacy and learning using exciting ideas and resources, to inspire and motivate children to develop ambitions and want to succeed.

Jade Gough, Severn Trent Community Fund Officer, said: “Getting young people outside, experiencing nature and everything it has to offer is incredibly important and Passion for Learning’s project is making sure that children in Chester are doing just that, for both learning and wellbeing.

“It’s fantastic to see how much of an impact the sessions have had in the area and that they’ve been such a huge success. We wish them all the luck with the scheme and hope that it continues to grow and have a positive impact on local children.

“We are always looking for more local projects in the regions in which we work which would benefit from grant funding and encourage anyone who may be interested in finding out more about our Community Fund to get in touch.”   

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