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How we support charities and projects

 

From the local charities that we support on the ground to broader projects with charitable organisations and our partners, our focus is on building a brighter future for the natural world and for the generations who will enjoy it.

Working in partnership

As well as our relationship with Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and local collaborations with Wildlife Trusts, amongst others, we have a number of key partnerships. These include National Parks, the National Forest, Grown in Britain, and the Family Holiday Association. 

The Prince’s Countryside Fund

We want to do more to secure a sustainable future for the rural economy and offer entrepreneurs and start-up businesses a helping hand. One of the biggest barriers to setting up a new business is financial support and we have joined forces with The Prince’s Countryside Fund to help overcome this. We now donate 10p from every hot drink that we sell to support people with business ideas in rural areas, through a business start-up grant programme. We will also share our experience including mentoring support for 12 months from a relevant expert in the Forest Holidays team.

National Parks

National Parks and Forest Holidays share an ambition to connect 20,000 young people with nature, both to improve their physical and mental health and well-being and to ensure that National Parks are valued, understood and cared for into the future.

As the first step, we launched a pilot year of partnership in 2018, to enable up to 6,000 young people to experience and explore the best of the UK countryside. It is our ambition to grow our partnership and connect 20,000 young people with nature in the next five years.

National Forest

The National Forest is transforming lives, the landscape and the economy throughout 200 square miles of the Midlands. At its heart lies the former Midlands coalfield, where the planting of millions of trees has changed the landscape from black to green. 

Our central support office at Moira is situated at the heart of the National Forest, and, over the last three years, we have been proud to support this regeneration success story. With the help of our guests, we have so far raised £50,000 to support tree planting and wider forest creation. The trees help to restore a rich wildlife habitat to the predominately industrialised area, and create a sustainable, healthy and positive environment for people and wildlife to enjoy.

Family Holiday Association

In 2019 a partnership with national charity, the Family Holiday Association, we are delighted to be providing 52 back-to-nature breaks each year at our locations for families coping with severe challenges such as bereavement, disability and domestic violence. The Family Holiday Association believe that holidays are a lifeline, not a luxury and their research shows that 9 out of 10 families are better able to cope with everyday life after a holiday. A Forest Ranger activity is included with each break, to give the families the additional benefits of a hands-on connection with nature.

Grown in Britain

Grown in Britain promotes the use of local, sustainably-grown timber. Our partnership is long-term and for us, it offers opportunities to explore new ways to improve the design, sourcing and use of the wood within our business. Our partnership is based on a shared set of values that aims to connect people with nature and teach them about the management of forests for sustainability.

Case study - Our National Park partnership in action

During our pilot year we have supported the following projects...

‘Fair Play’ in the Brecon Beacons National Park, providing funding for transport for schools and youth groups to the National Park

'Go Wild' in the Yorkshire Dales National Park - 10 free drop-in sessions for children and their families to enjoy learning and exploring

'Year of Young People' in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, expanding the range of activities available to young people

3,000 young people had their journeys to a national park paid for through a Forest Holidays travel fund

Our local charities and projects

Our local charities reflect our business purpose as well as the passions of individual team members. At our Central Support Office in Moira we support Derbyshire Mind, the mental health charity. Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and, with Mind, we are committed to growing awareness and breaking down the stigma attached to mental illness.

At our locations, we support a diverse range of local initiatives, including forest schools, town and village projects and local charities. At Deerpark, we raise funds for the installation of defibrillators; at Forest of Dean, we contribute to the local foodbank, and at Thorpe Forest, Cropton and Keldy, we support the local Air Ambulance. This is just a flavour of the many positive contributions our amazing team are making up and down the country.

“Thank you for the donations of food you made throughout 2018…Forest Holidays contributed 27.4kg of food, enough for 65 meals…People in crisis in the local community are very grateful for your ongoing support.”
Robert Simpson, Forest Foodbank Manager, Forest of Dean

Our commitments to 2024

We’ve always supported causes close to our heart. We aim to further harness our team's passion and expertise to achieve more. We commit to:

Strengthen and build on our strategic partnerships, because by working together we can achieve more

Launch a Forest Holidays Fund to support causes close to our purpose

Set fundraising targets for local charities and community projects to raise more money for causes we care about

Make it easy for our teams to volunteer their time to make a greater impact in the communities we operate within

Explore new ways to increase our charitable giving beyond financial support