Beavers benefit from bridge building grant

A children’s community group is rising to the challenge of building bridges thanks to an education grant from an ancient charity.

The Beavers and Cubs at 11th Gravesend (St Mary’s) Scouts have each received home kits to take part in virtual challenges and tasks while their group meets remotely. The purchase of the equipment was made possible following a £300 grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust.

Group Leader Laura Scott explains: “To keep the group motivated and engaged through our virtual sessions we decided to follow the Trust’s free online learning activities, encouraging the children to build bridges and learn about their structures.

“We wanted to be sure all our children had access to the same amount and quality of equipment, so we applied for a grant to buy everything we needed to make up home kits. This ensures everyone can take part. We’re grateful to the Rochester Bridge Trust for providing the money to enable this to happen.”

The kits include a combination of construction materials and are now being used by the children to work towards their Builders Badge, as well as to achieve some of the criteria within their Skills and Creative Badges.

Laura added: “We’ve just hosted the first of six virtual sessions in our online programme, and we’re pleased to say the children really enjoyed their first attempts at bridge building.

“We’re also encouraging families to work together to create activities and set their own challenges, so they can get added value out of the equipment.

“Once we return to meeting in person, the kits will be re-assembled into a large community resource that can be stored in the hall we would normally operate from. They will then be used by us and the other groups using the building, as well as being loaned to other scouts and guides groups.”

The £300 grant was used to purchase a selection of materials that included Banbby magnetic sets, Burgkidz pipe building blocks, Clic Construction kits, various K’Nex sets, Lego, and a selection of other related materials. This included equipment that was suitable for use by children with reduced fine motor skills and dexterity, to ensure full inclusion.

Caroline Chisholm, Education Manager at the Rochester Bridge Trust, said: “This is exactly the kind of event our activities are perfect for – in particular some of the bridge building challenges in our Learning About Bridges resources – as they are written to make it as easy as possible for people to do at home.

“We were very pleased to present this grant to the Beavers and Cubs, and it’s great to know the equipment will have a long-term benefit for children in the local community.”

To find out more about education grants and how to apply visit https://rochesterbridgetrust.org.uk/learning-activities/grants/

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