Setpoint London East at the Soanes Centre has been delivering Science and Engineering workshops at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park Nature Reserve since 1997. In an average year, we work with at least 7,000 school children using this, the only woodland in all of East London , as our outdoor classroom.
Schools have already booked 77% of the workshop sessions for the autumn term. Help us to be able to teach them.
Each £6 you donate pays for one child for one workshop. For a donation of £90 we can teach half a class and £180 pays for a whole class of 30 pupils.
Over the last few years, like many education charities, we have seen a dramatic drop in funding. Up until 2012 we were able to offer free classes to children from Tower Hamlets. But since then we have had to charge (at a heavily subsidised rate). Our workshops are hugely popular and a highlight of the school year for many children, but fees we collect from schools cover less than half of the workshop costs. Charging schools any more would make the resource unaffordable for them.
Today we are facing such a funding short fall that we may have to entirely stop our work. Tower Hamlets is one of the poorest boroughs in the UK, where people have very little access to green space. Some of the children who come to our workshops don't even know what they should wear for an afternoon in the nature reserve. By delivering education workshops on topics such as Minibeast Safari, Habitats, Pond life, Rocks and Weathering, Biological data Sampling and more, we provide a unique learning experience for the local youngsters and give young people a great sense of their environment, their lives and their planet.
The loss of these opportunities would result in a massive void in many young people's education. We have met with many adults and young adults who took part in our workshops and go on to tell us of the formative experience that they had through our work. Our feedback, testimonials and annual repeat bookings demonstrate how invaluable our workshops are in building young people's understanding of science and nature - and opening their eyes to the wonder of the world around them.
This is what the teachers say:
"Children were excited and the scientific language and discussion was brilliant! The workshop leader was very good with the children and staff. Calm and organised, he made them learn and laugh! "
"A really inspirational session! So much active learning going on. What a pleasure."
"Great curiosity and enthusiasm for classification combined with practical activities and theory made for a fantastic session. Terrific! Great fun. "