Sport For Confidence To Turn New Town Community Gardens Into 
Interactive Learning Environment For Children 
Starting this month (June), Essex based social enterprise, Sport for Confidence CIC, will be inviting children aged 4 – 11 years, accompanied by a carer or parent, to take part in a new Woodland and Coastal Therapy programme that embraces the great outdoors, creating opportunities for children to explore and develop new skills whilst benefiting from a rich array of new sensory experiences. 
The programme is being driven by Sport For Confidence Occupational Therapist, Rosana Tuck and is being funded through the Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot. 
Rosana says: “ The natural world provides opportunities for individuals to develop adaptive responses and manage emotions within an unpredictable yet safe environment. Nature also provides unique therapeutic opportunities to take a holistic approach that looks at a child’s development, play, social skills, self-care, and routines, as well as self-awareness, self-image, sensory preferences and more. Rosana believes there is nothing like nature to bring out a child’s infectious creativity and joy. Being encouraged to play in the natural world evokes intrigue and excitement, awe, and wonder, peace and calm. 
“Nature has been shown to produce mental health benefits, reduce cortisol and promote physical activity. Forest play focusses on a child’s social, physical, sensory and resilience development. The nature-based environment inspires, challenges and ignites a child’s curiosity and sense of wonder. Children become confident, compassionate, resilient, creative, and kind in this child led natural learning environment. 
Furthermore, in the natural environment, senses are stimulated and emotional barriers can more easily be broken down to enable the theraputic exploration of the physical, emotional and social challenges faced in daily life. By stimulating the imagination with simple raw materials from the earth, woodland and plants, problem solving skills also become more attainable.” 
The programme is fully funded by Active Essex and is free to participants. Sarah Stokes, LDP Coordinator for Colchester explains: "In essence, the Local Delivery Pilot is about developing a blueprint to lift a number of key target groups out of inactivity and tackling the inequalities which prevent hundreds of thousands of people in Essex from enjoying the physical, social and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle." 
To qualify for the programme children must, be currently engaged in less that 30 minutes of physical activity per week and must reside in either Monkwick, Berechurch, Highwood Greenstead, Shrub End, St Anne's and St John's, Old Heath and the Hythe, or New Town and Christchurch. The first of eight, one-hour, sessions will start on Tuesday July 5th, with the last session taking place during the school holidays on Tuesday, August 16,1030hrs-12.00hrs. for full details of session timings visit: 
Each attending parent or guardian will receive a nature play handbook, providing all the information needed to make the child’s immersive experience a success. 
To register your interest in the programme email or to find out more about the other programmes being delivered by Sport For Confidence across Essex visit: 
Session timing and dates are as follow: 
• July 5th Tuesday 16.00 to 17.00 
• July 19th Tuesday 16.00 to 17.00 
• July 26th Tuesday 10.30 to 12.00 (summer hols) 
• August 2nd Tuesday 10.30 to 12.00 (summer hols) 
• August 9th Tuesday 10.30 to 12.00 (summer hols) 
• August 16th Tuesday 10.30 to 11.30 (summer hols) 
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