Fifth Trust News


Students complete environment award

12 January 2022

The first students to take part in an environmental award scheme The Fifth Trust has signed up to have successfully completed the challenge.

The John Muir Award encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places. Named after the Scots-born founder of the modern conservation movement, the scheme encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

As an official John Muir Award provider, we are now able to offer participation in the scheme to our students and potentially the wider learning disability community.

First to take on the Discovery Award challenge were students Alan, Michael, Debbie and Stephen. Guided by instructors Tom German, Laurence Jordan and Ern Marden, they spent four days over the space of a month exploring woodland close to our Barham skills centre.

Here they took part in activities including foraging and coppicing; making bug homes, walking sticks and bird feeders; and bird watching. They also enjoyed story telling and making music outdoors too.

“As well as nature appreciation, taking part in the award also promotes wellness through being immersed in a wild environment,” said Tom, who led the pilot programme. “The John Muir Award is a perfect fit with the kind of activities we like which encourage students to try something new and offer a real sense of achievement.”

We plan to run another John Muir Discovery Award for our students in the Spring. Anyone interested in finding out more about participating in the awards in the future should contact [email protected].

For more information on the award scheme, please visit