John Muir Awards
What started as a pioneering exploration led to Bedford
and District Cerebral Palsy Society (BDCPS) holding an awards
ceremony, on Monday 21st February, at Moggerhanger
House, in Bedford. The event celebrated the achievements of five of
BDCPS’s young people, as they were handed their ‘John Muir’ awards
by Lady Erroll, Countess of Erroll.
The charity worked in collaboration with
Branching Out Forest School to offer an exciting opportunity taking
place in a conservation project at Ickwell Bury, where outdoor
skills were taken one step further!
7 young people aged between 7- 12 years old
took part in the ‘Wild Woods’ activities, in a natural setting for
learning and exploration. Over five days spent at the
location, a range of activities allowed the young people to
demonstrate learning and understanding of environmental issues.
The conservation project could at first appear
to be typically out of bounds to wheelchair users, although this
did not deter them.
Facilitators of the hands-on experience;
Branching Out Forest School, helped educate the children during
their woodland visits, in terms of identifying the surroundings and
introducing biodiversity topics for discussion.
This assignment also allowed the children’s
five carers to receive John Muir Awards. The award is an
environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It
encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural
environment. The Award is open to all, and is the educational
initiative of the John Muir Trust.
During the awards ceremony, one of the young
achievers, Rajan Kanda, gave a biographical presentation on the
subject of John Muir. It was a real opportunity for the young
people to demonstrate to sponsors how funds can expand the
provision BDCPS are able to offer as a charity.
Bedford Borough Council supported the venture
and administered funds from ‘Aiming High’ for Disabled
Children, a transformation programme to provide better support and
improve services for disabled children, young people and their
Lady Erroll, Countess of Erroll, who is also a
Governor at Grange School, said: “This project has shown how nobody
should tell anyone they can’t do something - you can
always find a way around a challenge. Any individual can achieve
great things if they remain determined. These young people have
shown us just that, in achieving these prestigious John Muir