Well were did the time go? It only seemed like yesterday that I was starting my 4 month placement with Play England’s Exploring Nature Play SW project. Now not only has my placement finished, but after 3 years involvement with the Exploring Nature Play SW project, that project has finished too.
However it’s been an incredible journey, and one that I am so glad that I had the chance to undertake. So a big thank you too: Jane Hembrow from Play England for believing in me and all the support you gave me and of course the Vodafone Foundation for operating the World of Difference programme.
You might ask what I have been up to? Well it has been a busy 4 months, and here are some of my highlights:
It started with me helping to produce leaflets and deliver a workshop for Exploring Nature Play Project North’s Explore, Play, Connect conference in march, as part of Play Torbay’s play worker team. Which was an exciting and slightly scary opportunity, especially when I realised Cath Prisk was one of the delegates taking our workshop. However I didn’t have to worry, as it went brilliantly and everyone enjoyed learning to make fire with flint and steels as well as having a go at whittling.
Then I had the main task of my placement, which was to organise and deliver a discovery level John Muir Award, to a group of individuals in Torbay. It involved identifying two wild places to discover and explore, as well as find the families or young people to participate in the project.
In the end I had 14 people including two families taking part, as we discover and explored Primley Park and Fort Apache Adventure Playground in Torbay, in seven, 4 hour sessions which included a lovely night walk listening and hunting for bats.
12 out of the 14 people participating, achieved a Discover level John Muir Award, which was handed out at Play England’s Exploring Nature Play SW exhibit at the start of August. I was delighted with how the project went and the sense of satisfaction and enjoyment the participates showed during the activities and sessions, as they made a connection with the wild places and each other.
This sounds like the end of the journey,I hear you say. Well you would be mistake, because the World of Difference journey has given me the confidence to step out on my own. And so Sylvan Adventures was born, an organisation aimed at connecting people to nature through adventure, for more details of what we have been up to please check out our Facebook page Sylvan Adventures. And it does not stop there, I am soon off to Denmark on a study tour to explore how the Dane’s Love Outdoor Play, before returning home to help deliver another outdoor play workshop at Play England’s Exploring Nature Play SE Conference’s Explore.Play.Connect in the City. So please come and say hello if you are attending the conference.