End of summer, start of autumn

Deni writes:

Well. Yesterday was the last session on the School for Social Entrepreneurs course that has been running for the past year. I have been so lucky to have found a wonderful tribe of people who share the same values and ambition that I have. This course has given me the confidence to go for a new start with Nature’s Living Room CIC at 60 years old..in a pandemic…while skint and stuck at home.

I have run sessions in the woods, woodcraft and other groupwork since 2010…this was a huge move to consolidate all of that and try to make it sustainable as well as opening new doors. Luckily I had the support of a lot of people… Katie, Yvonne and Heather as co-directors to name 3.. but countless others who have backed and supported me. You all know who you are and I value and appreciate you more than you know. We have made strides towards our vision. I am proud of all of us. Sometimes we don’t say it enough, specially when times are tough or we are tired.

This summer has been an amazing explosion of joy with different groups coming to the woods to experience its healing and calming effect. And those who run around doing zoomies, laughing, climbing, eating, making fires, whittling etc. It’s been fantastic seeing the young people getting the freedom to roam, explore and experience the fun of playing in the woods.

We have been fully booked with groups and organisations all summer which has been incredible. Thank you Hexham Youthy, Corbridge Youth-Initiative, Allendale Youthy, Tanga Hexham, Wecan, Ferndene Hospital, Full Circle Food, Prudhoe Youthy and the Woodpeckers. We hope that Sacriston Youthy can come soon.We welcomed a very diverse community of families and young people and intend to build on these connections with a lot of future sessions.

A treat for me was teaching baskets at Babes in the Woods in Huddersfield with my old friend and mentor Alan.So this week is for reflection and planning. Skills I improved upon on my amazing course with SSE. Dream big. Its never too late! 😍Watch this space……….

Tanga in the woods

Today was a good one. Sharing the ups and downs of families living with neurodiversity…I got the privilege of making magic happen with three Harry Potter broomsticks made by kids and their mams in the woods …my job was wafting them over the flames of the fire while the kids chanted abracadabra. ‘To put the magic in them’I received the gift of a wand (which turns people into frogs) wound with wool and carefully wrapped in kitchen towel. Then turned three people into frogs. 😁I happily fed 30ish hungry people with butties, crisps, biscuits and watermelon cut like lollipops. Kept a never ending supply of tea and coffee going .I had wonderful conversations about life, fire, home education, stress, the calmness of the woods and how being outside even in the rain was still good.I reconnected with folks I knew years ago from running woodcraft courses in Kielder. Very happy memories.I enjoyed mentoring two young forest leaders who worked hard making the day fun for the families and who created amazing connections with the children who attended today.I witnessed unfettered kindness, real support and acceptance and hopefully offered some from us too.A good day. Thank you for all that Katherine and gang. Big love and total respect.