Barnardo’s Scotland launches ‘B-Wild’ – connecting children young people and families to the outdoors

Children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland in Partnership with Field Studies Council (FSC) has launched B-Wild, a new service which will offer children, young people and families the chance to access  outdoor learning opportunities, in recognition of the important role that a connection to nature and the outdoors can have on our health and wellbeing.

Barnardo’s Scotland’s B-Wild service, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will be available across six local authority areas through the charity’s existing services in Ayrshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. 

With support from Field Studies Council, Barnardo’s Scotland staff will aim to work with families in local communities to inspire and develop stronger connections with nature and local heritage sites including parks, gardens, urban green spaces, forests, woodlands, rivers/waterways, seas and beaches. 

Maureen McAteer, Assistant Director for Attainment for Barnardo’s Scotland said: “We recognise there is a link to health and wellbeing and working outside, the importance of that has been highlighted by the current coronavirus pandemic.

“Through our B-Wild service, we aim to inspire the communities we work in to develop stronger connections with the space that is around them, removing barriers we know exist which prevent families enjoying outdoor play in natural spaces.”  

Alex MacFie, Head of Centre Field Studies Council (FSC) said: “We are delighted to be able to share our expertise with Barnardo’s Scotland through their new service.  As well as increasing environmental awareness, outdoor experiences are hugely enjoyable for children and young people and they also develop confidence, team work and independence whilst creating long lasting memories. B-Wild and the Field Studies Council really is a match made in heaven!”

Caroline Clark, Director Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“Green spaces and the outdoors have been so important to people’s health and wellbeing in recent times, especially in their local areas. Outdoor learning is a fantastic way to build those connections and we are pleased to support this valuable project.”

The FSC has already delivered five, bespoke online sessions to the charity’s staff which proved to be very popular and extremely well received – so much so that the charity will be making the sessions available to all interested organisations and individuals via their twitter and facebook platforms during the B-Wild launch week starting 31 August. The online sessions include Marvellous Mammals; The World On Our Doorstep; Hunting For Mini-beasts; The Rocky Shore and Bushcraft and the Outdoors

Maureen added: “We would like as many people as possible to benefit from this learning opportunity, so feel free to share these sessions across your networks.”

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