Young Nature Leaders Initiative – Mental Health Awareness Week
It’s been an incredible journey on the Young Nature Leaders Initiative course with Circle of Life Rediscovery. Spending a day out in the woods each month has been a wonderful and grounding experience and it has given me a tranquil space to feel connected to nature.
If I was ever feeling stressed or anxious before the session, that was eased once I got to the woods as we always took some quiet time to listen to the sounds of the forest, relax and connect with our senses. This, along with the amazingly supportive facilitators helped everyone feel ready to engage and learn. We learned everything through practical experience making it so much more meaningful and memorable.
We met each month in the woods whatever the weather! From November to April, we experienced the woods through different seasons and what the seasons had to bring. From fire lighting to woodland cooking, using tools to make animals from wood, charcoal pencils and picture frames, plant identification, nature games and woodland management, we have learnt so many new skills that we can apply to our future work.
The course has opened up new options for me and my future. It has taught me so many new skills as well as teaching me how to share those skills with children and adults.
I have now gained a Forest School Level 2 qualification. Being able to share this knowledge and help others find the fulfilment I have found in Forest School is really important to me and I hope to continue to do this. Since starting the course I have been volunteering at two Forest Schools which has allowed me to put my new skills into practice and has consolidated my desire to pursue outdoor learning as a career.
Having felt a bit lost a few years ago, my life didn’t really have any direction. There are so many pressures around us to look a certain way, feel a certain way and act a certain way. This course has enabled me to meet new people who perhaps feel the same and have taught me to be myself and accept myself – it’s a magical feeling and being in the woods only accentuates this. I feel excited about the future and my options.
Mental Health Awareness Week
If anyone reading this feels they are struggling, I would encourage you to share your problems and talk, take a walk in the woods, lie on the grass and feel the sun on your face. There are people out there who care and who can offer support. Never feel alone.
Transforming education, health and family through nature.
Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.
We want to thank the Ernest Cook Trust for providing a key grant to enable our Young Nature Leaders training to happen. If you would like to make a donation to our funded work or find out about our funded programmes please contact us.
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