Last year, thanks to funding from Children In Need, The Country Trust were able to run seven countryside visits for the Barnardo’s Stronger Families and Bradford Action for Refugees programmes.
38 children and 24 adults participated in the visits to Gazegill Organic Farm and Bolton Abbey, under the care and leadership of Country Trust staff Lee Holmes and Mark Scrimshaw.
The families involved in the programme face daily challenges around poverty, mental health and domestic abuse, whilst often supporting children with additional needs. The visits provided the families, who have little access to the countryside, welcome respite from the stresses and complications of daily life in a safe, supported environment.
The days out took place during the school holidays last year. The summer break can be a particularly worrying time for families who are unable to afford activities or day trips and whose children, during term time, would receive a free school meal. By arranging lunch, transport and even car-seats, the visits were made accessible for everyone, no matter what their financial situation.
Families told us the farm trips were the highlight of their summer holidays. Confidence and resilience grew for parents and children alike, as they were challenged with new experiences. Families worked together and made memories that will last a lifetime.