August 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 Fred,

I have just returned from a week of challenge and adventure with our TurnAround Berkshire group in north Wales.  The experience was designed to build character, support personal growth and create independence, in advance of the group graduating from TurnAround in the second half of September.  We stayed in an off grid mountain bunkhouse in a remote part of Snowdonia, where we were self-sufficient with food and cooking.   Our challenges included a gorge climb, two days of camping out on the slopes of Snowdon and a beautiful evening sleeping by a wild tarn, emerald green in colour and clear as crystal.  We sat together sipping hot tea while the sky turned purple and pink in one of the most dramatic sunsets I have seen in years!

Later that same evening we watched two pin pricks of torchlight grow larger as two members of a BBC film crew worked their way down the steep slopes to join us, filming the TurnAround Project for broadcast on BBC1 on Tuesday 6th September during the BBC Breakfast programme.  Never having had a film crew with us before, I think we were all apprehensive and a bit nervous, but gradually were able to relax and appreciate what an opportunity this was for us all, and that no one was there to 'catch us out' or film us in a bad light for impact.  They were lovely people and willing to rough it with us for two days and to be part of the group.

The film crew were up early to film the sunrise, and the rest of us, still in warm sleeping bags tossed and turned as the light moved in.  Two of us ventured into the freezing tarn waters for an icy, invigorating early morning swim and we floated on our backs looking up in awe at the high, sheer cliffs hanging over us.  

The rest of the day was walking, talking, being filmed, sharing, taking part in symbolic and metaphorical exercises all designed to help the group to understand themselves better.  We talked about how the past makes us who we are today, that we cannot change it nor know exactly what our future holds, but can manage ourselves in the present and plan and dream for a future that would work for us.

At the conclusion of our trip, we arrived home feeling satisfied and proud of our achievements, our learning, our time together in a little human pod of kindness, care and a willingness to find the best in each other.    

You can read the full account of the TurnAround Berkshire trail on our website and don't forget to tune in to BBC 1 between 6am and 9.15 am. on 6th September to share our experience.  For further information about TurnAround visit http://www.wildernessfoundation.org.uk/turnaround or you can call the office on 0300 123 3073.


I hope that you have had an enjoyable summer.   Please read on for details of our other recent achievements.

Best wishes


Jo


Jo Roberts
CEO

Wilderness Foundation awarded LotC Quality Badge


The LotC Quality Badge tells teachers and others organising educational visits that if they bring children to our site they can be assured that we offer good quality educational experiences and manage risk effectively.

We started the LOTC journey back in January with an audit of all our systems, processes, content and delivery in connection with the Chatham Green Project and CGP Local Food Programme.  This was followed in June by a site visit and inspection by an LotC Assessor, who looked at our policies and procedures, inspected our site and facilities and reviewed our session plans, learning outcomes and staff teaching style and content delivery.  

We're delighted to say that the feedback we received was strongly positive and as a result, we can now proudly display the LotC Badge on our site signs, materials and documents, telling everyone that when you book an educational visit with the Wilderness Foundation, you can be sure that you will receive not only quality, but excellence - including terrific value for money!

Read More

TurnAround Essex News Update


The current instance of TurnAround in Essex began in late June with a selection day which involved young people working as a team to make a catapult, taking part in archery and talking to staff and each other about why they want to be part of the project.  From the selection day a group of young people was formed to make up this current project which is the 7th TurnAround Project that has been run by the Wilderness Foundation UK in Essex since 2007.

Since the selection day the group has taken part in social evenings to build group belonging and to get to know each other, workshop days to work on specific skills such as communication and bushcraft and most recently a week long wilderness trail in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.


Read More

Using Nature As Part of An Employability Course


A three day employability workshop has enabled young people to think about the world of work in their future and the skills and qualities needed to maintain a job. Work ethic, motivation, career brainstorming and job applications were the topics most focused on, though the workshop involved a variety of tasks such as team challenges, questionnaires, feedback sessions, individual challenges and self-reflection.

Rosie Carpenter, who co-ordinates the TurnAround Project commented, “I have seen the group realise that they have skills which are transferable to the workplace. This course has given them a real confidence boost and I know that it will have a positive impact on their transition into the workplace”
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Read More

Sandon Women’s Institute learn about Food, Farming and Nature


The Wilderness Foundation has enjoyed a visit from the ladies at the Women’s Institute (WI) of Sandon, Essex. WI is a voluntary organisation founded over 100 years ago that allows women across the UK to become more involved in bettering their community as well as learning new skills and taking part in various activities. Sandon is just one of 225 WI’s in Essex alone.

The Sandon ladies started their morning in our education centre and engaged in an enthusiastic discussion about all things related to the Chatham Green Project and the Wilderness Foundation; from sustainability in farming to biodiversity to energy and water saving and mostly the essential connection between people and nature.

This was followed by a tour around Chatham Green, where the ladies were shown and informed on our solar panels, woodland, wildlife, crops and the pond that was teeming with mini beasts. Further discussion was held in the well-loved safari tent, and after lunch, the ladies got to try their hand at some fire lighting – an essential survival skill in the wilderness. 


Read More

Dates for your Diary

Courses, Trails, Training and Fundraising Events 



28th October 2016  Hallowe'en Fundraising Quiz, Essex
Join us for another of our popular quiz and supper evenings - this time with a Hallowe'en theme!

10th December 2016 Family Festive Fayre, Essex  *NEW DATE*
Our annual Festive Fayre with the reindeer puzzle trail and visit to Santa in his canvas cabin.  A fun day out for all the family.
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