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Outdoor Learning Officer Grant

Applications for this grant is closed

The Outdoor Learning Officer Grant supports charities and non-profit organisations who want to employ an Outdoor Learning Officer, funding a contribution towards salaries only.

We know that inspirational role models are key to helping young people form lasting connections with the natural environment. This is why we prioritise charities and organisations whose approach is to encourage young people to enjoy the outdoors and engage with nature. They will educate communities about land, food production and biodiversity; their work will enable society to have a healthy respect for their local environment and drive sustainable behaviour.

How much grant funding will each organisation receive?
  • Up to £20,000 per Outdoor Learning Officer, per year, for up to three years.
What can we fund?
  • Specific UK locations – The Ernest Cook Trust is offering this funding through a place-based approach within three defined areas around our geographical hubs. The Outdoor Learning Officer Grant is therefore available to organisations located within the following postcode prefixes only (and the work must have a direct benefit to individuals or groups within these areas):

    Cumbria/Lancashire hub area:
    BB, CA, FY, LA, PR
    Gloucestershire hub area: BS, GL, SN
    Leicestershire hub area: LE

    If you are a charity/not for profit organisation whose work is predominantly within these postcode areas, but your office is registered elsewhere please contact the Grants team to enquire about eligibility. Priority will be given to organisations working within areas of high deprivation.

  • Contributions to salaries – Our Outdoor Learning Officer Grant will fund up to £20,000 per year (approximately 50% of a full-time salary, including on-costs).
  • Multi-year awards – We appreciate that supporting organisations for more than one year is often highly valued by charities to ensure sustainability, provide an opportunity to build capacity and potentially give a more sustained impact. Subject to satisfactory annual impact evaluation reporting, this award will fund continuation of a post up to £20,000 per year for up to three years.
  • Non-Profit Organisations – We will fund UK-based registered charities, charitable incorporated organisations, community interest groups and non-profit organisations whose vision is aligned with our own. You will need to have a bank account in your organisation’s name, a constitution or memorandum of association and a board or management committee of at least three unrelated people.
  • Disadvantage – We will prioritise work that focuses on support for people who are from underserved communities. This could include disadvantage for social, physical, economic or community reasons.
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion – It is vital that applicants consider equality, diversity and inclusion in every aspect of their work.
  • Organisations with good governance – As part of the Full Application process we will require financial information, a copy of your latest Annual Report plus evidence of your Safeguarding Policy.
  • Organisations with clear objectives – As part of the Full Application process we will require a job description for the proposed Outdoor Learning Officer role.
  • Evaluation – There is an expectation for grantees to measure the impact of their work, and The Ernest Cook Trust can support with this process.

Successful applicants will be invited to join The Ernest Cook Trust’s network of Outdoor Learning Officers, OPEN (Outdoor Practitioners Educational Network) sharing best practice, benefiting from CPD and exchanging ideas and skills.

What can’t we fund?
  • Schools – schools, nurseries, pre-schools or universities
  • For this round of funding, applications from outside the stated UK postcodes
  • Individuals
  • Retrospectively
  • Local Authorities
  • Political Campaigns
  • Organisations based outside the UK
  • Sole Traders
  • Anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation
  • Organisations without at least three unrelated people on the board or committee
  • Organisations that are aimed at generating profits for private distribution
  • 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.
Application process

Applications are closed.

Thank you for all the Expressions of Interest received in the recent round of this Grant.

Read here about the support given to successful applicants from an earlier round of the Outdoor Learning Officer Grant in 2023: