DD Charity Blog

A place for us to highlight the great work of charitable groups we are supporting with donations of DD Hammocks Gear each month. We are proud to be working with community engagement programs, mental health charities and more to provide equipment and easy access to the great outdoors for those in need.

30 May 2023

DD Charity Update - May 2023

By Vikki

Summer is just around the corner, and it's prime time for getting out and exploring the outdoors - something that everyone should have the pleasure to experience, regardless of socio-economic circumstances.

This month we've been working with two more UK based charities; Grow-Wellbeing CIC and Nacro. These organisations are passionate about providing care, learning and excitement to their patrons via the beauty of nature and work hard to provide unforgettable experiences for people of all ages across England.

Based in Birkenhead with it's reach extending to Wirral, Liverpool City and Cheshire, Grow-Wellbeing CIC is a socially trading organisation which strives to provide benefits to people and the planet whilst achieving economic sustainability. They reinvest to provide further nature-connected community engagement, positively impacting on the environment, locally and globally.

We caught up with Crow-Wellbeing CIC's Duane Chong for more information about the passionate work Grow provides:

"Grow-Wellbeing CIC was founded in 2018 with the aim of connecting people to nature through Forest School, community gardening and nature wellbeing activities. Recognising that there has been a shift away from engagement with the natural environment over the past few decades, and with it a reduction in exposure to risk, our aim is to work with schools and communities to reconnect children and adults to 'risky play' in woodlands and forests around Merseyside.

Over the past 5 years we have grown our team to include experienced Forest School leaders, horticulturalists, mindfulness teachers, forest bathing guides, early years, primary and secondary teachers, SEND specialists, woodland managers and more! We are so committed to spreading the word about the benefits of connecting with nature that we became an accredited training centre last year so that we could train new Forest School Leaders!

We derive great pleasure from observing improvements in children and adults' confidence, resilience, and self-esteem, as they progress week to week through a programme of sessions or Forest School Leader training. We love to see their nature connectivity improving as they learn to recognise birdsong, improve their leaf and tree ID, build shelters either from brash or with tarpaulins, or learn new fire starting or knife skills. We trust that increasing nature connection will lead to greater environmental awareness, and in turn support climate action.

As a not-for-profit social enterprise, our aims are always to reach out to the communities that are least likely to access green spaces, occasionally in urban environments without green spaces, or whose health and wellbeing would most benefit from nature connecting activities. We have facilitated projects for young carers, who often have responsibilities which make it difficult for them to socialise with other children or engage in out of school activities; refugees and asylum seekers, helping them to adjust and orient themselves in the new landscape they have found themselves in; and vulnerable women, recovering from drug and alcohol misuse; some of whom are victims of domestic violence and others who are experiencing confidence, depression or loneliness.

We have recently been asked to provide a programme of sessions for children and young people who are experiencing mental health issues, an increasing phenomenon since the Covid pandemic, and who are on the waiting list for CAMHS clinical support. We are facilitating a series of programmes of the John Muir Family Award for children and young people and their parents, which we hope will improve their mental health and family relationships, and may lead to them withdrawing from the CAMHS waiting list.

As I'm sure anyone will recognise, one of the positive outcomes of the Covid pandemic restrictions was that so many people turned to nature to support their personal health and wellbeing, through gardening, a daily stroll or a longer walk. We believe, and there is so much research out there now to support this, that real connection with nature can enhance the holistic health and wellbeing of all of us, we just have to provide the opportunities for everyone to access it."

We very much hope that Duane, Grow-Wellbeing CIC and their patrons will enjoy the new DD Charity Edition hammocks and tarps we have been able to send over, and we wish them all the best in exploring the outdoors!

To find out more about Grow-Wellbeing CIC and the services they provide as well as the areas they cover, you can visit their website or facebook for more information.

Based in England, Nacro is an organisation that strives to work with people of all ages, providing a multitude of services and activities to all that need it.

Not limited to one or two services, Nacro offers various avenues to support those in need of housing assistance, education assistance, social and justice advice and outdoor learning amongst others.

Nacro explains further about their ethos and services below;

We believe that everyone deserves a good education, a safe and secure place to live, the right to be heard, and the chance to start again, with support from someone on their side. That’s why our housing, education, justice, and health and wellbeing services work alongside people to give them the support and skills they need to succeed. And it’s why we fight for their voices to be heard and campaign together to create lasting change. We see your future, whatever the past.

We believe that everyone deserves a good education, a safe and secure place to live, the right to be heard, and the chance to start again, with support from someone on their side. We provide practical help and personalised support through our education, housing, justice and health and wellbeing services. We work closely with people to help them build independence and to move forward to a better future. We’re compassionate and strong, determined and flexible. And we never give up on people.

But this isn’t enough on its own. We need the barriers holding people back removed, and systems we all rely on improved, to give everyone a fair chance. The voices of those most affected are often ignored, so we fight alongside them to be heard. We use the insights from our services and the experience of the people we support to campaign together for meaningful changes in society.

Nacro Greater Manchester Outdoor Learning is Nacro's prime source for allowing children and adults to experience natural play and the benefits of the outdoors, all while developing valuable skills and making social connections to last a lifetime;

Engagement with nature and the outdoors is hugely beneficial for physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. Outdoor learning has shown a positive impact for people looking to develop their personal and social skills. Our outdoor learning programme is designed to build a learner’s confidence and resilience through positive risk taking, all within a safe and nurturing environment. Giving individuals a sense of community and learning to work as part of a team.

We at DD were able to donate a number of DD Charity Edition Hammocks and Tarps to Nacro Greater Manchester Outdoor Learning, and we sincerely hope that Nacro and all their patrons enjoy every moment out in nature - wether it be taking part in outdoors sportsd, bushcraft and conservation, outdoor cooking, or on Nacro's many DofE expeditions or John Muir Awards!

To read more about Nacro and access all the services they offer, you can find out more via their website and Facebook pages!

As summer starts to really get underway, we want to really help bring the joy of the outdoors to as many charities as we can!

So, if you know of a charity, group or cause with a focus on the outdoors and a passion for helping those less fortunate get out into nature that would benefit from some free outdoor equipment plus a spot on the DD Charity Blog to showcase their work, we would love to hear from you!

Help us support even more people, and get involved by getting in touch with us via our DD Charity contact form.

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About the writer


A regular on the hiking trails of Northern Scotland, Vikki loves nothing more than being in the great outdoors. When she's not pulling on her hiking boots or trail shoes, this DD Team Member can often be spotted in the gym or curled up at home with a sketchpad and pencil.

DD Charity Update - April 2024

Spring has sprung and it's time for another DD Charity Update! Read on to find out more about the charities that we've been working with recently; Rock UK and The Burlington YMCA - two charities with a passion for bringing the joys and beauty of the outdoors to those who need it most!
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