In March 2019 the Harpenden Trust agreed a grant of £4,000 towards the provision of climbing apparatus for children in the Reception class and infants – a total cost £4,493.
The school had already made a number of improvements to the playground but those assisting young children's physical development were identified as the next priority.
Many children do not go regularly to local parks after school as parents are working. The school is now able to provide facilities to develop their gross motor skills, strengthen their arms and improve balance and coordination.
A 'trim trail' has been built that can achieve these objectives and although only opened in June 2019 has already proved very popular with the children.
Mrs Stephanie Shewbridge, Deputy Headteacher, High Beeches Primary School, says:
“We are delighted with our trim trail and are very grateful to the Harpenden Trust for their generosity. Our Reception children can now access high quality resources to support development in all Areas of Learning. Without the support of the Community Fund, we could not have afforded this project.”
At the end of 2018 the United Reform Church Preschool requested assistance from the Harpenden Trust Community Fund to install new grass artificial in the Preschool garden. The cost would be £15,000, with the Trust contributing £10000 and the balance being provided by the PTA. The project would:
The work was completed by September 2019 and the benefits are highlighted by Lorraine Robinson, Preschool Manager:
“The Harpenden Trust gave us the opportunity to completely transform our outdoor space which has benefitted the Preschool, our Church congregation and the wider community who use the space in the centre of town.”
“The generous donation allowed us to purchase long-wearing artificial grass to replace our weathered turf which we used daily at the Preschool for outdoor play. The new grass has ensured that we can offer safe play for our children in the garden every day. This has not only helped to enrich their learning but has also ensured that the children who do not have a garden at home can access an outdoor environment daily in our care despite the weather.”
“The children particularly enjoy being able to use our mound all year round to roll down the hill and to sit and sing songs with their friends. The new grass also made snowy play in the winter safer for the children who enjoyed making snowmen and snow angels without the hazard of slippery ice. Although Covid-19 restrictions have limited the events we have been able to hold, we have our fingers crossed that we will be able to invite parents to watch our sports day using our new artificial grass at the end of the summer term!”
“It was a pleasure working with the Harpenden Trust to make this happen and we were delighted that members of their team came to our grass opening party at the start of the 2019/20 academic year! Thank you for helping to ensure that we provide the best care for the children at the Harpenden URC Preschool and provide a great outdoor space for the wider community who use our premises by generously donating to this project.”
In April 2019 the Trust agreed to provide a grant of £5,590 to the Kitchen Front for the provision of a programme of cooking courses, the total project cost being £10,390.
The Kitchen Front CIC is a not-for-profit enterprise which runs a project called ‘The Larder Louts’ which offers cookery workshops for active older people who are not used to cooking. This is an established programme across Hertfordshire, but this additional funding meant that weekly classes could be run throughout the year for Harpenden residents providing just over 500 places.
The workshops have proved very popular with a waiting list to attend and attendees are primarily men who now find through bereavement, becoming a carer or due to a wish to take a greater role in sharing the cooking tasks, are having to cater for themselves and their partner.
There has been considerable evidence of need for these classes from studies undertaken by a variety of organisations- Age UK, Carer’s UK and the Jo Cox Commission and feedback has been very positive for the Harpenden workshops.
Jane Todd of The Kitchen Front CIC, said:
The support of the Harpenden Trust has been invaluable in bringing The Larder Louts cookery classes to a far greater number of local older residents and on a more regular and subsidised basis. The sessions have had a real impact on so many of our participants and the feedback has been universally positive so we are very grateful to the Harpenden Trust for their financial assistance to enable the growth of the project.
Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary is a charity that hosts Educational and Awareness talks to local schools, beavers, cubs, scouts, brownies, rainbows and girlguides. The Sanctuary hosts nearly 100 talks annually and have engaged close to 6,000 local children helping them to gain a better understanding of wildlife and the ways they can help to preserve and protect endangered species. The Sanctuary had been unable to host these talks during the cold and rainy seasons due to the Charity having no sheltered cover for the children while the talks took place outside.
The Harpenden Trust very kindly granted the Sanctuary funds to build a wooden open fronted education shelter that holds up to 35 children. This shelter has been an invaluable building that has greatly benefited the Sanctuary and the children that attend these talks. It also includes a blackboard that is used to highlight key messages to the children and creates a more engaging experience for them.
During 2020 the Sanctuary unfortunately had to completely stop all Hedgehog Awareness and Educational visits due to Covid-19. This put a huge strain on the Sanctuary as the talks were also a way for the Sanctuary to generate income through donations and purchased from the onsite gift shop. The Harpenden Trust also granted the Sanctuary funds to purchase a camera and livestream equipment that enabled the Sanctuary to continue Awareness and Educational talks to groups via Zoom meetings and livestream events.
Martin Maylin, of Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary, said:
'We are very much looking forward to all the local children's groups that have booked Educational and Awareness talks during 2021 and the new Education Shelter is now one of our key focal points for these talks."