May 2016
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The Wilderness Foundation UK harnesses the positive power of wilderness to change lives and the positive power of humanity to save wilderness

Dear <<First Name>>,

I write this on a spring day when everything beautiful and good about the world is bursting forth. There is nothing like the cycles of nature to bring us back to earth, and to give us a chance to reflect on the miracle of ongoing life. It is reassuring that although the world can seem chaotic and slightly mad a lot of the time, nature steadily moves on just doing what it has always done…reproducing, living, dying, re-forming.

This week we dealt with British island weather extremes with Monday being 25 degrees and everyone slapping on sunscreen, and Tuesday being dark, wet and chilly at 15 degrees. Fortunately for our very hard working team Monday was the good day as we had 270 children aged four to seven years old from a local school and 50 staff for the day. Introductions to nature and farming were run from a range of stations around the farm and it was a real joy to behold and experience. There are many  times we feel very lucky to do what we do and to see the impact of time, care and offering experiences of nature on children.

Tuesday was another story all together. We had nine young people aged between twelve and fourteen here for personal development on our Out There Programme funded by Essex County Council Young Start programme. With constant dripping rain and chilly wind and being outdoors most of the day,  the team worked hard to keep spirits up and the group motivated against the odds. The day ended sitting in our wonderful safari tent  with a log fire burning and a chance to talk about things that affect their lives – on this occasion the difficulties around self harming and the increase in young male suicide rates. Talk about extremes.

David Attenborough had his 90th birthday on recently and on playback I was able to watch an amazing programme on bio-luminescence, and the magic of nature put life back into perspective again. The Foundation owes much to his constant reminders to the world at large that if we lose nature we lose ourselves, and to connect young people to nature and help them learn to love and protect it, is a fine and vital thing to be doing. We are totally committed to this cause and it keeps our motivation to continue to work really hard in place.

We are always looking for volunteers in Essex, Scotland and Berkshire and needing support in any way possible through membership, legacies, financial or in kind support or our new team building and training opportunities. Please keep us in mind and keep in touch.

Finally for this month, don't miss out on the opportunity to join our course on Friday 20th May focused on Integrating Leave No Trace into your outdoor programmes.   We are one of the few organisations in the UK accredited to deliver this course and it is a great learning opportunity for anyone working in the outdoors.   There are just a few places remaining.

With the best of natural thoughts.


Jo Roberts
TurnAround participants graduate after 12 month life changing programme

Over the past year a group of vulnerable young people from Essex have participated in the Wilderness Foundation UK’s successful and much-in-demand TurnAround Project.    TurnAround aims to help young people who have experienced personal or social problems to change their lives. It works with some of the most vulnerable youth aged 16-21 in our local community and has a track record of 83% of graduates entering further education or employment. 

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TurnAround Graduates enter the Dragon's Den thanks to The Dulverton Trust and Sir John Kemp Welch

Participants in the last two years of TurnAround Essex recently pitched for scholarship funding from the Diana Kemp Welch Memorial Fund at a "Dragon's Den" style event.  Lady Diana was our much-loved Patron of TurnAround and following her tragic death in 2014, the Dulverton Trust created a scholarship fund in her memory, dedicated to supporting graduates of TurnAround.  

Applicants applied for funding for a range of activities including 1-2-1 tutoring in Maths and English, driving lessons, assistance with childcare to enable attendance on a college course and a new business startup.    Each applicant pitched their idea to a carefully chosen panel who had the tough decision of awarding this year's grants.

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The People's Projects - £5,000 funding awarded for our Allotment Programme in Chelmsford

We were delighted to be invited to participate in this year's People's Projects scheme, operated by the Big Lottery Fund.   Our community allotment project, the CGP Local Food Programme had been funded by an Awards for All grant in the previous twelve months and out of the hundreds of projects operating across England and Wales, we were chosen for continuation funding.  After a tTV news and social media campaign encouraging supporters to "Vote for us!" we have been awarded £5,000 of funding for the year ahead.

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Green Team Building

"An excellect venue and programme combined with nature to tailor a perfect team away day" - Team Manager,  Southend Borough Council

The Wilderness Foundation UK recently delivered fun and rewarding team building days for staff from Southend Borough Council Leaving Care Team and 16 staff members from Aon Risk Solutions.   Structured to meet each organisation's specific requirements, our outdoor team building days in nature provide opportunities for team working, bonding, leadership development and a growing sense of connection with the environment.  We offer mindfulness as an optional extra which has proved to be equally popular.

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Imbewu trails kick off again in Scotland

After the sad loss of David Eckersley, our Imbewu Project Manager who died in February this year, we are up-and-running again with two trails taking place in May and June on the Douglas and Angus Estate and two future trails on the Glenlivet Estate later in the year.   Our CEO Jo Roberts had very inspiring meetings with a range of partners over March and April and thank Andy Wells, The Crow Estate, Brodies, Cain Energy, The Holywood Trust amongst others for their kind support.

David's Memorial was held in London on 28th April 2016 in London with over 700 people attending to celebrate his life.
Click here for the remembrance speech delivered at the service by CEO Jo Roberts.

Dates for your Diary

Courses, Trails, Training and Fundraising Events for Adults

Friday 20th May 2016 One day course at Chatham Green, Essex
Integrating Leave No Trace into your Outdoor Programme

Sunday 5th June 2016   Open Farm Sunday
Join the Chatham Green Project team for free annual farm open day

Sunday 10th July 2016   Fundraising Activity, London
British London 10k Run

1st to 10th September 2016   Wilderness Trail, South Africa
Adult trail in the iMfolozi led by our CEO Jo Roberts.  Email for further details
Copyright © 2016 Wilderness Foundation UK, All rights reserved.

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