Lesmahagow shoppers can back new Forest School

Getting dirty is half the fun!
Getting dirty is half the fun!

Shoppers in Lesmahagow are being asked to back a project helping children go wild in the country.

Outlet: Play Resource started its after-school forest club, called Wild Time Forest School, in the autumn, and it’s now bidding for a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

It has been chosen as one of three projects being supported by Lesmahagow’s Tesco store in May and June.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork for its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p carrier bag levy – awarded to community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco store’s patch have been shortlisted to receive cash awards, and shoppers vote for the group to take the top grant.

Outlet: Play Resource founder Jackie Meager says the forest school programme provides a safe environment for children to build their confidence and self-esteem while exploring the natural environment.

Since starting in Lesmahagow in September, the forest school has worked with more than 60 children, many with additional support needs. The programme lets them follow their own interests and explore in their own way, says Jackie.

“Forest school is a long-term, inspirational process that really allows children the space to fulfil their potential,” said Jackie.

“It enables children, and volunteers, to take risks and to challenge themselves in ways that they haven’t done before.

“The funding from Tesco will enable us not only to sustain Wild Time Forest School in Lesmahagow but also to expand the programme to Lanark.

“We are incredibly excited to have this opportunity.”​

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already given £28.5m to more than 4,000 projects up and down the UK.

Tony McElroy, the chain’s head of communications in Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for May and June. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists, and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Wild Time Forest School will run sessions at Lanark Racecourse on Wednesdays between May 17 and June 14, offering den-building sessions, tree swings, mud-slides, bows and arrows, campfires and more for children in school years P1 to P7.

For details, contact jackie