Julie’s ‘tri’ tester

Julie West of UNEARTH Forest School, who is from Todmorden, is taking part in the Virgin Active London Triathlon this weekend
Julie West of UNEARTH Forest School, who is from Todmorden, is taking part in the Virgin Active London Triathlon this weekend

A new year goal is turning into a summer fundraiser to subsidise places at a forest school for families who could otherwise not afford them.

Todmorden local Julie West has set up the UNEARTH Forest School as a community interest company which uses the natural environment to provide creative, fun and inspirational opportunities for all, especially giving children the chance to take part in adventurous and stimulating but safe outdoor activities.

This weekend Julie will fulfil a challenge she set herself at the start of the year when - despite not being able to swim with her head in the water back in January - she will take the plunge, get into the saddle and hit the road on Saturday when she takes part in the Virgin Active London Triathlon. It takes place at the Excel arena where the Olympic events were held and she has to swim 750m in Victoria Docks, head out on her bike for 20km and then finish with a 5km run.

Julie says some families who wish to take part in UNEARTH sessions cannot afford the full cost, so she decided to raise sponsorship through the challenge.

“We offer new opportunities to increase access to and enjoyment of local woodlands and green spaces, especially those who may find it difficult to do this without support.

“I want to raise £200 to subsidise the cost of attending so the cost is £3.50 per child - this money could therefore subsidise places for 57 children and their parents or carers,” she said.

“I’d wanted to learn to swim front crawl properly for years but never got round to it. Having a goal really helped me and I also joined the Calderdale Triathlon Club which has been really supportive and encouraging. I’m nervous about the race but the months of swimming, cycling and running will be worth it.”

You can log on to www.justgiving.com/local/project/unearthforestschool to donate.

UNEARTH’S series of family fun workshops begins at Hardcastle Crags on July 29 and more will follow on August 5, 12 and 26. All sessions run from noon to 3pm and cost £7 per person (first child free) to a maximum of £20 per family. Meet outside Gibson Mill. For more information about UNEARTH contact Julie at info@unearthforestschool.org or call 07850 429566.