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National news

The Outdoor Guide Foundation

26th Jan 2022

The Waterproof and Wellies Project, part of The Outdoor Guide Foundation, is raising £5m to provide State Primary Schools with outdoor clothing & welly boots to enable children to learn about and enjoy the outdoors.

The pupils of West Green Primary School in Haringey were delighted to benefit from the Waterproof & Wellies Project, devised by founder Gina Bradbury Fox. The project was launched by TV presenter Gemma Hunt from CBeebies in Bristol last year. So far, 140 schools across the UK have received 1,400 outdoor kits.

Government figures show there are over 20,000 primary schools in the UK in which a number of families do not have easy access to the right gear to enjoy the outdoors*.

The project, part of The Outdoor Guide Foundation, aims to raise £5m to provide 10 sets of high-quality outdoors kits, consisting of a waterproof jacket, trousers and welly boots to every state primary school across the country over the next five years.

Lou Archer, Inclusion Manager at West Green Primary School, said: “As a small inner-city school in an area with high levels of deprivation, and a very small budget to match, a donation such as this is so very much appreciated.  It means that our children are able to confidently get out and about into nature and enjoy all that it has to offer without concern about their school clothing as they are well protected in their fabulous new kits! As a school, we try to ensure that our children get to experience the great outdoors and enhance their learning not only in the classroom but at local parks and through outside play.  The Outdoor Guide has helped us to continue to promote this!”

Gina Bradbury Fox, the co-founder of The Outdoor Guide (TOG), said: “Lack of access to weatherproof clothing is a real barrier for children engaging in outdoor learning. The Waterproof and Wellies Project aims to democratise access to the great outdoors by donating 10 kits to every state primary school in Britain, meaning all kids can join their classmates for fun, fresh air and adventures in nature.”

The Waterproof & Wellies Project officially kicked off in March with Gemma Hunt, CBBC TV presenter. Local businesses and philanthropists have got involved and donated kits, including funding from Land Rover, CSSC and haulier Sanderson have delivered kits across the country to over 140 schools.

Stuart Slavicky, Head of Marketing and Communications at CSSC said: "Encouraging and motivating our members to be active outdoors is a massive part of our ethos at CSSC and so we are thrilled to be working with The Waterproof and Wellies Project and The Outdoor Guide Foundation which encourages this at a grass route level within schools. This project will enable children across the country to enjoy being outdoors and learn no matter the weather!"

CSSC is excited to be involved in this important initiative and is proud to announce that it has donated 100 sets to 10 primary schools as part of the wider campaign with The Outdoor Guide Foundation. So far, the foundation has raised over £25,000. As CSSC members you can get involved to help buy extra kits and assist families living below the poverty line by donating here.

*Why get kids outside?
  • Educational benefits include an increase in concentration, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as well as self-awareness and improved sleep, which in turn leads to better behaviour. 
  • Isolation is a big problem with young people and the outdoors allows for them to work together and develop emotionally, increasing social interaction and empathy. 
  • The Children’s Society says that spending time outdoors and in nature enhances a young person’s short and long-term wellbeing. It is also known to improve mental development and personal fulfilment. 
  • Mind says that there are huge health benefits in all age ranges including a reduction in anger, stress, anxiety and an increase in physical fitness as well as a sense of balance and personal awareness. 

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