Half Term Holiday Haven for Families

06th November 2023

The Goodwood Education Trust provides a welcoming retreat for families with additional needs during the school half term, offering a peaceful haven in the woodlands.

Seeley Copse, a 20-acre woodland plantation exclusively for education use on the Goodwood Estate, was the venue for bringing families together over the October half term to spend time in nature.

  • Education

  • Goodwood Education Trust

  • Estate


The Goodwood Education Trust, an independent environmental education charity operating on the Goodwood Estate, has almost 50 years of experience of working with children with additional needs. This year, that experience, and the facilities, have been extended to families.

Aspens Charity approached the Education Trust to deliver Family Fun Days, for children with autism, their neuro-typical siblings and their parents. Often families find it hard to spend time together away from home. The team thoughtfully created a day of small group activities including fire lighting, a nature trail, leaf printing, hammocks and wood cookie painting. Amber Lyons-Kennett from Aspens said, ‘The day is all about community and building friendships’. One parent said, ‘The boys were able to access everything at their level. The day met their needs right where they’re at’. And one child said, ‘Your staff are very kind’.

The Family Fun Days will run monthly until March 2024, with bookings through Aspens.



The Trust had offered to run a similar day for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, funding a day of fun and woodland activities for families who have a child with a life limiting or terminal condition. The accessible facilities at the Education Centre and paths in the woods made it possible for everyone to participate. The team carefully designed a day of fun including den building, a walk in the woods, and of course marshmallows.

Lucy Ashworth, Fundraising, Marketing and Events Manager at the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, said, ‘The whole team made us feel very relaxed and there was a natural flow to the day – dipping into the different activities on offer. For the parents, it was a time to relax and talk with each other seeing their child enjoying playing.’


The Trust extended further funding from Local Giving (Postcode Lottery / Magic Little Grants) to welcome Young Carers supported by West Sussex County Council. These are children under 18 who have additional caring responsibilities for a family member. The Trust was able to offer a day in the woods to allow the young people to come together and enjoy activities, while spending time with people who understood what they are experiencing. Georgie Bean, Young Carers Activity Programme Organiser, said, ‘They had a great day, even in the wet weather and we’d love to come again one day’. The Young Carers themselves said they had fun, they saw or made a friend and they would love to return again.

Anne Bartlett, Education Officer for the Trust, said, ‘It’s wonderful to be able to offer the facilities and funding from the Education Trust, to enable families with children of all ages to come together and spend time in nature. Listening to children discovering new activities and new environments, and seeing smiles on faces is magical’. The week finished with two full days of Forest Adventures, with days packed with adventures, exploring and making new friends.

For more information on the Goodwood Education Trust, click here.

  • Education

  • Goodwood Education Trust

  • Estate

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