A charity set up in memory of a fallen soldier has given £34,000 to six schools in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and support the mental health of young children.

The funding has been made by the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation for projects aimed at help with wellbeing, particularly post-pandemic.

Ferndown Upper School will use the award to fund a wall art project to provide visual mental health support for all the students. The funding will also contribute towards the development of the student area in the Inclusion Hub.

Ferndown Middle School are creating a tranquility garden and their award will contribute towards the ground works and planting.

The idea is to make a quiet, peaceful space for children to reflect at break and lunchtimes. The space we also be used for counselling and well-being activities to support children's mental health

The funding will also support the construction of an outdoor performance stage at Beaucroft Foundation School.

It will provide a performance space for students informally at playtime, and more formally for the legendary Beaucroft talent shows.

At Ferndown First School the money will pay for the centre piece climbing frame for the play trail. The importance of outside play in early years is invaluable for development.

Parley First School will install a Mongolian yurt, used throughout the year to provide shelter and a calming space for children to receive teaching and a range of therapies.

At Hampreston First School an IT suite will be converted to a reading room. The new space will provide a literacy experience and a quiet area suitable for the nurturing work necessary for children with anxiety and mental health issues.

The JTYAF was set up in 2008 in memory of John Thornton, 21 who was killed in Afghanistan.

John’s legacy lives on making a real difference to the lives of local young people.

In the last 14 years scholarships and bursaries of almost £850,000 have been awarded to over 2200 young people.

Pete Thornton chair of the JTYAF said. “We continue to be humbled by the support that John’s foundation receives.

"Any charity is the sum of its supporters, and we are so grateful to everyone whose generosity has helped the JTYAF to continue to do its great work with young people.

"We feel these awards are a fitting way to pay tribute to our Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year.”