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Get Out More for Mental Health Awareness Week!
10th May 2024

Are you ready for Mental Health Awareness Week?  Kicking off throughout next week, the theme is Movement: Moving more for our mental health, we will be showcasing all the ways you and your family can get moving with us, or from your own home.

There are a wealth of benefits of spending time outdoors, including better lung health, lowers heart rate, improving mood and social skills, increasing creativity, boosting our immune system and making us feel fitter!  The benefits don’t end there, with spending time in nature being attributed to changing the way our brain processes information.

 

Check out our social media on the following days next week for how you can get involved with us, or how ideas for how to get into nature with your friends and family, or on your own!

 

Monday: Forest School and Wellbeing

Tuesday: Wellbeing in the Workplace

Wednesday: Community Wellbeing

Thursday: Wellbeing in Schools

Friday: Wellbeing at home

 

You can read more about Mental Health Awareness Week here, and find a whole host of ways you can get involved!

April 2024 Newsletter
26th April 2024

Would you believe it, in just over a week we will be in to May, and with that, the promise of Sun and warmer weather.  It feels like a while since we have seen anything other than rain!  Spring marks change, and that could not be more true for the Get Out More team, with some truly exciting changes in the works. We will reveal all soon, but for now, here’s the news.

  • Holiday Forest Schools
  • FREE Taster Day at St Ives
  • Better Start Bradford coming to a close after six years
  • All for Play and HAF
  • Bradford Literacy Trust

Read the newsletter here.

Easter forest schools and project update!
18th March 2024

There are a few telltale signs of Easter each year, slightly warmer days,  bluebells starting to peek through the ground, chocolate eggs in the supermarkets and of course, Holiday Forest Schools!  We are at a range of sites this Easter, from Otley to Bradford and Saltaire to Ilkley, check out our dates below.

Easter Dates

 

Spring Bank Dates

 

Over Easter we will have the HAF programme, delivering free outdoor activities and hot food provisions to families in Keighley, and we will be developing new projects running from a new premises, watch this space!

Get Out More in the Yorkshire Post!
22nd February 2024

“Annie Berrington’s childhood just outside Skipton sounds idyllic. “It was climbing trees and building dens and even having campfires and things like that,” she says. “It was all picking blackberries and putting frogspawn in your Welly boots and all that sort of stuff. It was a very free range childhood, really.”

2024 is an exciting year to be at Get Out More, with the Reaching Communities programme set to kick off a whole host of new activities in the Keighley area, and the team set to settle into their new premises at the Gatehouse at Cliffe Castle.  Read all about it, and more about managing director’s Annie Berrington’s background in the Yorkshire Post here. To keep up to date with what is happening at Get Out More, follow us on Facebook, or why not join our mailing list.

A new site for forest schools, woodland wellbeing and more…
31st January 2024

As we head through January, Get Out More is pleased to be sharing one of several exciting developments from the team.  After some successful trial sessions with schools in Late 2023, we are proud to be able to use the newly community-owned Weston Woods in Otley as a site for our forest schools, wellbeing programmes and volunteering projects.

Taken from the Menston Area Nature Trust website:

“East Wood, Weston, near Otley (known locally as Weston Woods) is nearly 20 acres of mature mixed deciduous woodland, alive with wildlife including red kites, goldcrests, tree creepers, warblers, woodpeckers and tawny owls. Oak, birch, beech, elder and sycamore are underlain by bluebells, wild garlic, brambles and other woodland flowers…It is valued for the memories of playing there as children, the peace people find there, but also as a place where nature thrives. There is a growing understanding that mature woodlands like these are not only vital for the wonderful habitats they provide, but also play a really important part in holding and soaking up carbon, preventing the carbon dioxide adding to global warming.”

Our first event open to the public is our Holiday Forest Schools, running on the 14th of February. It has already had a fantastic response from families, with places running very low!  We also plan to assist in any environmental projects within the wood with the Outdoor Taskforce.

There are so many benefits to being in nature, including but not limited to improved cognitive function, enhanced wellbeing, a boost to physical fitness and even improved social interactions!  We look forward to sharing these benefits with the people of Otley and the surrounding area when we bring our projects to this fantastic community-owned woodland.

We are focused on supporting community-led projects like this; hence, a percentage of any ticket sales, alongside a portion of Get Out More’s surplus revenue, will be shared with the trust.  We look forward to seeing you in Weston Woods!

Review of the Year 2023
14th December 2023
As we draw to the end of 2023, we reflect on the last year, which we know has been a challenging one for many; after the pandemic, we are aware of changing needs in the communities in which we work, as many people struggle with mental health issues and the impact of the cost of living and climate crises.  We’re proud of the work we have done through the year to support people to access nature to feel good, adapting our programme to meet the challenges.  Here are some of our highlights:

 

JANUARY:

Since 2018, young children living in the Better Start Bradford area have enjoyed forest school activities with us in local woodlands all year round and in all weathers; rain, sun and snow.  We’re entering the last few months of the programme now and have totted up that to date we’ve run 53 forest school programmes with 25 different nurseries – thats 553 three-year-olds who have taken part in the past 5 years!

FEBRUARY:

Our Yorkshire moorlands are beautiful, and precious carbon stores which can play a vital role in preventing valley flooding.  Last winter, two local schools, Harden and Sandal Primaries joined Sam and Julia on visits to the neighbouring moors, as part of a South Pennines Park project funded by Natural England.  With experts on hand, children were fascinated to learn  about the rich plantlife that lives there and the conservation work being undertaken on the moors on their doorstep.

MARCH:

In spring we launched the Green Spaces programme, a gardening project to brighten up the area around a Keighley community centre, made possible with funding from the Bupa Foundation.  Residents from the Highfield area planted trees and made raised beds to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs, which were then used in the community kitchen.  “It is amazing.  You have changed the whole look of the centre.  People say its more calming.  They want to spend time here”

APRIL: 

Woodland management work at St Ives estate meant our usual forest school site there was off limits.  We moved this holiday club to Blackhills Scout Camp in Bingley.  With very wet weather days becoming more common, we were glad of the scout huts to provide some inside space for children to access through the day.  We’ll be running at Blackhills again in February as well as Saltaire and a new community woodland in Otley.    Check out the February dates here

MAY: 

After five great years at Get Out More, Coordinator Julia Babbitt moved on to pastures new, and we welcomed Sue Barker onto the staff team.  Sue started as a trainee on our Outdoor Futures employment course, so we’re thrilled that the experience has led her to a job with us.  This year, we also thanked John Hamilton and Rachel Shaw for their sterling service on our board and welcomed Cat Thomas and Shabana Bibi as the new Directors

JUNE:

In the June heatwave, we were pleased to attend the Yorkshire Rewilding Festival in Otley.  The event brought together landowners, ecologists and campaigners to network and share ideas on helping nature recovery in gardens, parks and estates.  Our Nature Journalling workshop under the trees helped delegates relax away from heat, and reinforce their connections with nature and place.

JULY: 

This year, 57 people have undertaken forest school training with us, including parents from Keighley and playworkers and early years staff from Bradford.  In July, Annie ran a programme for teachers at Skelton Grange in Leeds, as part of the Leeds 2023 cultural programme.  In 2024 Get Out More will be running its first Level 3 programme, qualifying people to become forest school practitioners

AUGUST: 

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!  The summer holidays are always a busy time for woodland sessions, with forest schools running throughout the holidays.  But blue spaces, as well as green spaces, are good for wellbeing, so Hazel and team led a trip for a group of families and adults to visit sunny Morecambe, as part of our Holiday Activities and Food Programme.  For many it was the first trip on a train or to the seaside – we plan to go again next year.

SEPTEMBER: The Outdoor Taskforce continued to meet monthly to develop their skills on environment projects.  Amongst coppicing, garden clearance, balsam bashing and hedge laying, group leader Ryan’s favourite task of the year was dry stone walling in September.  Working alongside Friends of Park Wood volunteers learnt how to do this traditional skill and the results were impressive.  The Outdoor Taskforce will continue in 2024, starting with tree planting in January – join up here

OCTOBER:

In the autumn, Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust asked Get Out More to run some wellbeing programmes with people with less access to nature.  Sue led a group of young refugees and asylum from Keighley College, who enjoyed a series of outdoor sessions including a trip Gordale Scar.  The activities broke down language barriers and helped the sanctuary seekers establish relationships.  “Back in my homeland, I had no friends but thanks to this I have lots now.”

NOVEMBER:

Winter can feel like a time for hibernating, but getting outdoors with like-minded adults to learn some skills and share a hot drink around the campfire can do wonders for mood and energy.  Volunteers from Missing Peace, a peer support social enterprise in Keighley had a good laugh in the woods with us this November.  With CNET funding, we’re starting a new Winter Wellbeing group in January for adults who’d like to fight winter blues outdoors.  Its free – come and join us!

DECEMBER:

This month we received the fantastic news which will mean our programme of community activities and wellbeing events is about to step up a gear. Excitingly, we also have plans afoot to move our office base to somewhere with extra space for community workshops and training.  We can’t reveal all just yet, but watch this space!

 

We’re really excited about what 2024 has in store.  Thank you to all our participants, practitioners, partners and funders who have supported us through 2023 and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
We wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy new year!
From all the Get Out More Team

 

Celebrating Social Enterprise Day!
16th November 2023

Today is Social Enterprise Day – a moment to raise awareness of our pioneering business model and celebrate the more than 100,000 social enterprises in the UK working to benefit people and the planet.  But what is a Social Enterprise?  Social enterprises are businesses that trade for a social or environmental purpose. Like any other business, we look to make a profit (or surplus), but we then use the surplus to benefit the community and environment around us, from free places on our forest schools for low-income households, to donations to local ‘Friends of’ groups to help them improve the green spaces we access on our programmes.

In 2022, Social Enterprises in the UK reinvested £1bn to help communities and the planet – and Get Out More reinvested £8606 of that in local activities and groups.  Its not just a financial benefit; last year 14 brilliant volunteers contributed 90 volunteer days on our projects, we supported 42 people to gain a qualification and 4981 people took part in our programmes – 95% of whom said they felt happier as a result.

To mark Social Enterprise Day this year, we are urging readers to think Social Enterprise this year and support business with social and environmental missions in any way you can.

Christmas is fast approaching. Are you feeling stuck for gift ideas?  Why not support local communities and the environment by buying from a Social Enterprise this year?  Social Enterprise UK has put together a handy gift guide where you can choose thoughtful gifts with purpose.  Whether it’s creating jobs and opportunities for people on the margins, delivering people-powered public services or taking on the climate emergency, social enterprises are showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one that puts people and the planet first. We are proud to be a Social Enterprise and when you buy from Get Out More you are supporting the local community and environment too.

September 2023 Newsletter
13th September 2023

And after what seems like the blink of an eye, We are back into term time, but before we kick on to what is shaping up to be an exciting autumn, we look back on a magical summer of delivery.

In this issue:

  • October Holiday Forest Schools
  • Forest School Training
  • Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust
  • Volunteer with us!
  • All for Play, Play for All
  • The return of Wellbeing Wednesday

 

Read the newsletter here

June 2023 Newsletter
20th June 2023

We’re officially still in spring but the hot weather is helping us look ahead to a summer of fun. There is plenty happening at Get Out More over the next few months, and in our June newsletter you can read about ways to get involved!  In this issue:

  • Holiday Forest School
  • Wellbeing walks
  • Outdoor volunteering opportunities
  • Forest school training
  • Staff Changes

Read the newsletter here.

The Outdoor Taskforce is Recruiting New Volunteers!
19th May 2023

Keighley-based social enterprise Get Out More is now recruiting new volunteers for the Outdoor Taskforce, a volunteering programme aiming to improve the green spaces around the Keighley and Airedale area.  As part of the Outdoor Taskforce, participants learn new practical skills and develop team working skills, supported unemployed people and those looking for a new job with their employability.  The group meets once or twice a month, typically on a Friday.  Working alongside fellow organisations Yorgreencic, Aire Rivers Trust and Keighley Big Local on various conservation projects, the group will be planting trees, building dams, fencing, coppicing, dry stone walling, river clean-ups, balsam bashing, learning bushcraft skills and more.

Ryan Passmore – “We are pleased to be continuing the Outdoor Taskforce for the next 12 months, there is no end of opportunities to improve green spaces and organisations that could use some extra pairs of hands on their green projects.  Our participants got a lot of personal satisfaction from doing something positive for the environment and helping local groups.  Previous participants have found their confidence around other people and working outdoors have also improved through the social aspects of the group, we also hope that participants will gain the confidence in their skills to pursue a career outdoors.”

If you would like more information, or are interested in joining, please fill in the registration form below with your contact details.   Alternatively please get in touch with Ryan Passmore at 01535 668588 or [email protected].

The Outdoor taskforce is funded by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund founded by HM King Charles III



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