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Our favorite projects around Europe: Nature Therapy CIC on the Isle of Wight

January 2017

One of the projects awarded funding in 2016 by Isle of Wight Foundation in UK is Nature Therapy CIC and their Expedition Leaders project which seeks to help individuals who have been unemployed for longer periods to gain qualifications and confidence to help them to access employment.

In 2016, 15 people have participated in two separate courses undergoing basic training. The Expedition Leaders course taught component takes place over one intensive week of training and involves navigation and map reading, camp craft and cooking, risk assessment and management and leadership skills. First Aid and Safeguarding are also included.

Each person’s growing skills and knowledge are assessed via completing a personal portfolio of evidence that includes videos, pictures, and written statements by an observer and the participants as well as documented evidence.

Each individual then goes on to volunteer for an organisation of their choice for a minimum of 15 hours. This has included the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, Challenge and Adventure, the Youth Offending Team, the Scouts and the island Post Traumatic Stress Support Group as well as Nature Therapy CIC’s Wolf Medicine programme.

Dr Kim Brown, from Expedition Leaders said: “The difference this course has made on some of the participants lives cannot be understated. From the young mum with seven children who has been practising her expedition skills by taking all her children wild camping and is planning a new outdoor career, to another mum with a severely disabled child who is now working on helping parents with disabled children undertake mini expeditions. It has been a delight to see them all grow and blossom.”.

Philip Horton, spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Foundation Board said: “Although our focus is on transforming and maintaining the Island’s highway network, as an Island-based company employing local people and organisations we also want to ensure that as a company we are supportive of our local community..