ECT Outdoor Learning Officer Grant

Helping our nation to better understand the environment and our place in it.

The Outdoor Learning Officers Grant award is for charities and non-profit organisations, and to be used to fund a contribution towards salaries only.

Thank you for your interest in The Ernest Cook Trust. In response to Covid-19 we have diverted funding to support priority organisations within our current grantee database. We are therefore not opening up to new applications for any grant programme until further notice. We hope that you will understand our decision to refocus our educational grant giving activity during these unprecedented times.

Further information on the reopening of applications for the previously advertised environmental engagement grant streams including; ECT Outdoor Essentials, ECT Apprenticeships and Scholarships and ECT Outdoor Learning Officers grant streams will be available from April 2021.

As an educational charity, striving for environmental engagement in our society remains our aim, and outdoor learning, connecting with nature and learning from the land remain our focus. We therefore continue to forge connections and closer collaborations with other organisations who are also working to achieve this in their communities and helping to reconnect people throughout the UK with our natural world. We thank you for the valuable part you play in achieving this shared ambition.

We wish you all the very best through these challenging times.

The Grants Team at The Ernest Cook Trust

Our Priorities

The Ernest Cook Trust (ECT) believes that all people have a responsibility to address the global environmental challenges facing our planet.

From our research and experience we believe that inspirational educators and mentors are key to enthusing and supporting others, providing confidence to make change and engage with the environment.

Our funding priorities are to find charities and organisations that want to employ learning officers/outdoor educators who can:

  • Encourage others to create deep, lasting and meaningful connections with the natural environment.
  • Engage people to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature, particularly those from urban areas.
  • Educate communities about the land, food production and biodiversity.
  • Enable society to better understand the damaging effects of activities that harm the environment.
  • Extend participation to groups that are hard to reach; including the disadvantaged and those living in areas of high deprivation.
  • Embed an understanding of environmental issues and drive sustainable behaviour change.

We can fund

  • Contributions to salaries. The ECT Outdoor Learning Officer Grant will fund up to £15,000 per year (estimated as 50% of a full time salary including on costs). The Ernest Cook Trust would expect to be a part-funder.
  • Multi-year awards. The Ernest Cook Trust appreciates that supporting organisations for more than one year is often highly valued by charities to ensure sustainability. We appreciate that a multi-year approach provides an opportunity for charities to build capacity and the grant is likely to produce a more sustained impact. Therefore, subject to satisfactory annual impact evaluation reporting, this award will fund continuation of a post at £15,000 per year for up to three years.
  • Non Profit organisations. We will fund UK-based Registered Charities, Community Interest Groups and Not-for-Profit organisations whose vision is aligned with our own.
  • Any UK Location. The work must have a direct benefit in the UK. Priority will be given to organisations working within areas of deprivation.
  • Organisations with good governance. As part of the application process, we will require financial information, a copy of your latest annual reports and accounts plus evidence of your Safeguarding Policy.
  • Organisations with clear objectives. We will require a job description for the proposed Outdoor Learning Officer.
  • ECT Funding Plus. ECT Outdoor Learning Officers, based in other registered charities and organisations will have the opportunity to network with our own ECT Education Officers and benefit from CPD, skills sharing and peer mentoring.

We cannot fund

  • Individuals
  • Retrospectively
  • Local Authorities
  • Political Campaigns
  • The Promotion of Religion. Faith organisations may apply, as long as there is a clear benefit to the local community and not just to those of a particular faith.

How we make decisions

Trustees will make decisions on awards to organisations for ECT Outdoor Learning Officer grants at Grants Committee Meetings. Applications for the first round of awards are now closed. Applicants will know the final outcome of applications by the end of October.

The application process

The Ernest Cook Trust aims to let all grant applicants know whether their request can be taken forward or not within a few weeks of receipt of an application.

Successful applicants will be asked to complete an Agreement which includes confirming the ability of the organisation to receive the grant by BACS.

The Agreement also requires the applicant to submit an annual report on the funded project; failure to do so will ensure the rejection of any further grant application and may result in a request to repay the award.