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Isle of Play receives support for transformative Forest School Programme and new Isle of Play Van

Isle of Play, the Island charity which promotes, provides and advocates for opportunities for all children on the Island to fulfil their ‘Right to Play’, has received a boost from the Manx Lottery Trust Community Awards and Dormant Assets Funds.

Isle of Play’s Forest School is a transformative programme designed to empower and enrich the lives of local children in the Island’s community. It delivers weekly term-time sessions to school-age children, including mainstream year groups, home school groups, and children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), and works in partnership with other charities. Partner schools with significant social housing catchment areas or SEN units are given priority.

Chris Gregory from Isle of Play explained more: “The Forest School programme is an instrumental platform for youth development, focusing on several key areas: developing confidence, physical activity, mental well-being, new experiences, inclusivity and environmental awareness.

“Through hands-on activities in a natural environment, children will develop essential life skills, gain self-confidence, and discover their own capabilities. This newfound confidence will have a lasting impact on their personal growth and future success. Engaging in a safe, nurturing, non-digital space also has great mental health benefits and promotes curiosity, creativity and a love for exploration. The Dormant Assets programme funding of £49300 makes sure we can deliver this 12-month programme with maximum inclusivity – regardless of socio-economic background and physical ability.”

Alongside the support for the Forest School programme, through the Community Awards programme, Isle of Play has been awarded £47805 to provide a vehicle that will play a pivotal role across all of its services.

Chris Gregory continued: “The Isle of Play van serves as the backbone of services reaching 1000 children every week, enabling the transportation of essential resources, staff, and supplies and ensuring the reliable delivery of services for the next 10-plus years. Without the support of Manx Lottery Trust for the Forest School programme and transport we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver these key services”.

Stephen Turner, Chairman of Manx Lottery Trust, said: "We are very pleased to be able to support both these most deserving applications from Isle of Play. Undoubtedly the Forest School Programme will be of great benefit in enriching the children of the Island’s community and having a reliable van to help deliver the services is equally important."

These grants are from Manx Lottery Trust’s Community Awards and Dormant Assets Fund Schemes. Manx Lottery Trust has been delegated to distribute National Lottery money from The National Lottery Community Fund.