Project to make outdoors accessible to all by Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship

GANF students on one of their trips to the forest.
GANF students on one of their trips to the forest.
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Fund-raising for facilities especially designed for their students does not stop at Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship.

After successfully raising £20,000 for an adapted gym at Ambergate Sports College, the fellowship, which also includes Sandon School, are turning their attention to an outdoor project.

The idea to create an area in the woodland around Wyville accessible to disabled students first came to organiser Jacki Bartram and assistant head Sara Ellis 18 months ago .

Regular trips to see the woods are already taken as part of their pupils’ educational health care plans, encouraging sensory learning. However they have been unable to take all of their students due to the naturally difficult ground and absence of required facilities. Now the schools’ Community Inclusive Trust have agreed with the Wyville Hall Committee to install a hoist and accessible shower in part of the building, as well as consulting with landowners about creating a natural, eco-friendly pathway for wheelchair users.

The plan is to use environmentally friendly rubber matting that grass can still grow through and cover, and then along the circuit place several sensory stations built from and filled with natural items for the children to identify. They will learn about British wildlife from boxes with pretend fluffy birds making the correct sounds, and an outdoor classroom with tree stump seats has also been proposed.

Jacki said: “We want all our students to be able to experience the woods.” For more details and to help with the Forest School project, email

* Fund-raising to achieve the £20,000 target has begun with the Friends of Sandon and Ambergate ‘s Christmas market on Thursday attracting 180 shoppers and generating £1,020 for GANF.