16 February 2022

DD Charity Update - February 2022

By Vikki

2022 seems to be flying in, and February is now in full swing!

This month we have a catch up with two more organizations that we’ve been working with; Youth Adventure Trust and WildWise Enterprises CIC - two charities that work to provide accessible outdoor services and personal development for all ages.

To find out more about what Youth Adventure Trust and WildWise do and how they help those in need, read on below!


Youth Adventure Trust

Based in England and offering help across a wide area of the South, Youth Adventure Trust works to improve the welbeing and quality of life for young people with various outdoor workshops and programmes. We spoke to Rob Warren who goes on to explain the work of Youth Adventure Trust and how to get involved:

“The Youth Adventure Trust uses outdoor adventure to empower vulnerable young people aged 11-16yrs from Wiltshire and Swindon, to fulfil their potential and lead positive lives in the future. We work with them to build resilience, develop confidence, and learn skills that will last a lifetime, helping them to face the challenges in their lives.

Throughout Our specially designed three-school-year programme young people receive ongoing support, mentoring and guidance from our skilled programme team. This dedicated support is vital to a young person’s development and ensures there is a trusted adult in their life to talk to. The main programme of residential camps and activity days is followed by our after-care programme consisting of a bursary and mentoring scheme, to ensure all the young people have the best chance of getting the maximum benefit from our long-term intervention.

Our programme is not about removing the young people’s challenges, it’s about equipping them with the resilience to overcome them, helping them reach their full potential. We support them to build their self-esteem, confidence and independence, and to develop a positive attitudes towards their future. Many young people will discover for the first time that they can succeed.

We simply could not inspire young lives without our team of dedicated and inspirational volunteers. Our Programme Volunteers support our young people on our camps and local activity days, supporting them to get the most out of their experience. They take part in the activities alongside the young people, support their welfare, encourage them to challenge themselves, support their social relationships and promote teamwork. Our volunteers often tell us they had no idea how much they would personally gain from volunteering.

The tarps and hammocks kindly donated by DD will be used by young people on adventure activity days and during their Forest Camp, where they learn bushcraft skills and sleep out in their own shelter in the woods. For our young people the bushcraft experience is one of their most memorable and enjoyable; it really challenges them and is a very real adventure! They have to work together and show resilience, learning about themselves and stepping out of their comfort zones. The tarps and hammocks will enhance the experience further, and ensure they are comfortable and dry!"

Hailey, age 16 says of the time she spent with Youth Adventure Trust:

“I feel much more confident and enjoy life, I’m making the most of it. I want to go to university to study for a degree and travel the world because being part of the YAT made me want to do things like this.”

Sharing his experience, Connor, a Programme Volunteer explains how he thrived during his work with YAT:

“The support you offered me made the whole experience really comfortable and simply brilliant. I felt at ease from the moment we spoke and supported throughout. I had loads of fun and honestly think it’s been a life affirming experience for me.”

 

We’re pleased to have sent a donation of hammocks and tarps to help support the work of Youth Adventure Trust, and we hope that the new equipment will be thoroughly enjoyed by the young people who seek out these life changing services.

If you would like to find out more about how to access the programmes that Youth Adventure Trust provide or how to get involved with volunteering, you can find out more via their Website and Instagram.


WildWise Enterprises CIC

Situated in the Southwest of the UK, WildWise CIC works hard to provide nature based activities to those of all ages who may not be able to access such services. By offering various kinds of short term and long term outdoors workshops, WildWise aims to make the healing benefits of the outdoors available to anyone who needs a helping hand.

Tom Wigston, Project Coordinator goes on to explain the work of WildWise CIC in more detail below;

“WildWise Enterprises CIC is a small company providing nature-based, wellbeing activities for children and young people on the margins, based in the Southwest. Our events give vulnerable young people a chance to spend dedicated time in nature, camp together outdoors, engage in team building exercises, communicate openly and learn empowering ‘bushcraft’ skills with trained facilitators. Post-event, we keep the young people connected to their experiences through an alumni programme, volunteering opportunities and regular communications online.

We run weekend workshops and long-term programmes of nature-based group activities (wood craft, shelter building, foraging, fishing, arts, storytelling, group games etc) aimed at building friendships, improving self-esteem and facilitating restorative outdoor time. Participants learn basic survival skills such as fire lighting and outdoor cooking, health and safety, handling tools, how to look after themselves (and each other) in the wild, providing a sense of challenge and filling young people with pride and achievement. Importantly, we see young people gain understanding of how nature can be a resource for many aspects of wellbeing.

There are opportunities for volunteers and previous participants to engage with new groups and develop leadership experience, providing continuity and skills development. WildWise CIC delivers programmes that are free at the point of delivery, targeting young people who would otherwise have difficulty accessing such opportunities. We have seen first-hand the transformative impact that spending time outdoors can have on vulnerable young people, particularly those who’ve experienced early challenges in their lives.

Through ongoing conversations and through our programme evaluations, participants testify to valuable benefits that include improved mental wellbeing, lessened social anxiety, the chance to learn new skills and the chance to spend time simply but therapeutically in nature. For some it is a lifeline and for many it has improved their ability to engage with challenging family relationships and wider society.”

We hope that our donation of tarps and hammocks will find a good home with Tom and WildWise, and we wish them the best of luck for the future!

If you would like to find out more about WildWise and the work they do, or would like to enquire about their services, you can visit their website and Instagram.


As spring rapidly approaches and the days get brighter and longer, we would like to continue to support even more charities and organizations with donations of outdoor equipment!

Do you know of a charity, group or cause that focuses on the outdoors and helping those less fortunate get out into nature? If they would benefit from some free sets of hammocks and tarps, plus a feature on the DD Charity Blog to shine a light on their work and projects, we would love to hear from you!

Help us help others, and get involved by getting in touch with us via our DD Charity contact form.

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About the writer

Vikki

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.

Charity Update - June 2022

The sun is high and the days are long, and it's especially times like these when everyone deserves to discover the joys of the outdoors. This month we catch up with The Learning Center; a forest school for children and young people, based in Pennsylvania USA, who's goal is to encourage strong childhood development using bushcraft and nature.
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