I started my new school this week. It’s not quite like the other schools I’ve been to though. This is the School of Social Entrepreneurs…and it’s almost as magical as Hogwarts!
Last year I thought I’d take a chance and apply for the fantastic Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start-Up Programme. After a weighty application pack, two nerve wracking Dragons Den-style pitches and an interview – I was overjoyed to secure a place for Bee in the Woods on the programme!
The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme is provided by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, who are funded by Lloyds Bank. The Programme supports social entrepreneurs with a funded place on a comprehensive course, a one-to-one business mentor and a grant.
The first learning block of the programme started on October 11th. I packed myself onto the train, enjoyed the comforts of Southern rail (ahem) and set off for London to meet my fellow social entrepreneurs. What a humbling and life-affirming experience it was to meet such amazing, creative, dedicated individuals with passion and drive to make the world a better place. I was blown away – and very inspired!
During the two days I had time to reflect on Bee in the Woods’ core values and the changes I would like to see. These included providing a support network for local parents, wild time for all under 5’s and forest school becoming part of the curriculum in schools. You may say I’m a dreamer…
…But I’m not the only one! With regular reports highlighting the positive impact forest school has on children’s physical and mental health, as well as their capacity to learn and communicate; I would argue that getting our kids outdoors is as important as learning to read. Forest School has also been shown to help those struggling with school. It gives young people opportunities to develop and achieve, away from pressures of mainstream education.
Forest School for All Children
I believe in forest school for all…although it’s not always accessible for all. My place on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme means that I can explore and expand Bee in the Woods’ social purpose – bringing forest school, support and training to more young people, families, schools and settings that normally couldn’t afford it. Please do get in touch if you have a group or a project that you think would benefit from some subsidised wild time!