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Activity centre in West Norfolk to launch fundraising campaign so more youngsters can enjoy the outdoors

A campaign to raise £19,300 to allow more children to enjoy learning outside the classroom in West Norfolk will be launched next month.

The National Trust is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge – a match-funding campaign – to raise enough funds to support 220 children over the next two years on their residential trips to the Brancaster Activity Centre.

Raising the funds through the campaign, which takes place between December 3 and 10, would pay for 50 per cent of the costs for the youngsters to visit the centre.

Brancaster Millennium Activity Centre, Norfolk. Picture: National Trust/David Levenson. (22096856)
Brancaster Millennium Activity Centre, Norfolk. Picture: National Trust/David Levenson. (22096856)

More than 1,000 children, aged seven to 11, stay at the Brancaster Activity Centre each year, taking part in a wide range of outdoor activities that help connect them with nature, improve confidence and teach them new skills outside of the classroom.

In 2019, 127 children benefitted from financial support from Brancaster’s bursary scheme.

Schools apply on behalf of pupils and the bursaries are directed to those children with the greatest need, such as those receiving the pupil premium or qualifying for free school meals.

Katherine Tofield, outdoors learning centre manager at Brancaster, said: “For some families, the cost of a residential trip can be unaffordable, which is where our bursary scheme comes in.

“Set up in memory of Caroline Gundle, it provides financial support to families in need, ensuring more children can enjoy experiences such as sailing, kayaking and raft building with their classmates.

“We feel that exposure to physical activity in the real world is an integral part of growing up and that everyone should have the same opportunity to share that with their peers.”

Through the match-funding campaign, which launches on Tuesday, December 3 and which will double the amount raised, the charity hopes to gather a total of £38,600. To donate, visit www.bit.ly/BigGiveBAC.

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