The Wilderness Foundation UK harness the power of the wilderness to transform vulnerable lives and empowers people to conserve nature.
Who they work with:
Referrals to The Wilderness Foundation UK can include depression, trauma, relationships with siblings, parents, couples, friends, and work, drugs and alcohol, self-harm, health recovery, social and other anxiety, and bereavement amongst other problems. Through camping, cooking outdoors, and exploring wild spaces with the support of caring, highly trained adults, young people discover inner resources they didn’t know they had.
How do they do this:
The UK team engages over 5,000 people per year with the benefits and enjoyment of wild nature. Programmes develop future sustainability leaders, build resilience in vulnerable teenagers with challenging lives and mental health issues, introduce rural employment to urban youth, and bring curriculum-based sciences to life in the outdoors. They switch off technology and switch on reality.
The Wilderness Foundation's Chatham Green Project is a 400-acre living classroom engaging young people with the subjects of nature, farming and food security in the 21st century. Subjects are taught using immersive and creative outdoor education methods. The ‘Down to Earth’ allotment project trains people with disabilities and mental health problems to grow their own food.
‘TurnAround’ and the ‘Out There Academy’ support young people with complex needs through nature immersion. The programmes offer resilience training, personal development and therapy for youths battling family breakdown and mental health issues. Trained mentors offer one to one support to build aspiration and employability through wilderness therapy journeys.
‘Imbewu Scotland’ creates connections between urban young people in Scotland, major landowners and employment opportunities in the rural sector. Participants join wilderness trails, volunteering and employability training, whilst growing an understanding of their ecological heritage.
How does O&CC help?
To help The Wilderness Foundation UK carry out their inspirational work, O&CC have donated various products from walking boots and packs to the all-important softshell, insulated and waterproof jackets. It is essential to provide a range of sizes within the donations to make sure kids of all ages are kitted out whilst they’re adventuring into the wild!
Some recent feedback was that The Wilderness Foundation would like to thank O&CC for giving them a chance to help young people like Toni.
“Toni came to us as a troubled teen with a criminal history and a habit of abusing alcohol. TurnAround was, as she puts it, “a major turning point in my life” that “has helped me to take control of my demons.” Participation in the year-long TurnAround project helped Toni boost her self-esteem, control her anger and aggressive tendencies, and learn the value of hard work and persistence.
Today, Toni is “a trusted member of society” with a bright future.”
Every year, the Wilderness Foundation helps over 5,000 people like Toni find their connection to the natural world through trail experiences, one-on-one wilderness therapy, and other outdoor adventures.
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