Earthtime CIC is a unique and innovative organisation which was established in March 2011 to facilitate outdoor play and education, primarily, but not exclusively for 2-8 year olds and their families.
As well as offering a nature based programme of workshops for young people, Earthtime also offer unique outdoor birthday parties, corporate outings and activities, together with a developing range of eco-friendly craft products.
Earthtime recently acquired a small building, West Lodge, within Cooper Park in Elgin on a five year lease from Moray Council. Earthtime’s aim is to further develop West Lodge as a community hub and increase its portfolio of services to support eco schools and forest school sessions and engage with a wider range of organisations, including groups with challenging behaviour and those disadvantaged through isolation and social deprivation.
The beginning – HIE’s involvement / Mar a tha HIE an sàs
Earthtime was supported by Moray Social Enterprise Network in its early efforts. It was initially referred by HIE to Business Gateway to develop its plan and 3-year projections, together with marketing advice.
The Directors have also engaged with Just Enterprise support by attending further courses on business planning, marketing and pricing. It is anticipated that further support over the three year period of account management will include Board development, governance and product development.
Since commencing, Earthtime’s activities have been focused in the Elgin area of Moray.
Market assessments evidenced that this type of activity would also be welcomed in areas such as Forres and Fochabers and more rural areas such as Buckie, Keith and Aberlour.
Rural Moray Toddler Adventures aims to improve community cohesion and act as a positive role for sharing family time whilst raising awareness of the environment in both a fun and educational way that helps all participants to enjoy the benefits of nature and to take responsibility for the environment.
To deliver the project successfully Earthtime will require the support of volunteers, who will benefit from both work experience and skills training.
HIE has contributed £10,000, towards a total project cost of £39,930, to drive the commercial focus of the business in order to increase revenue and also to expand its delivery to the more rural areas of Moray, thereby enabling it to fulfil its social aim of providing affordable outdoor, educational activity to a wider range of participants.
Research by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, a renowned child development psychologist, evidences that early years interventions have a profound effect on later years, including emotional security, trust in others, self-confidence and relationships and are critical to preventing spend in future years in the areas of mental health programmes, hospitals, prisons and others.
HIE’s support will assist Earthtime to increase their traded income, offer volunteering opportunities and increase the number of families and participants accessing their services.
Fiona Robb, Tel. 01309 69600