Scott Burnett is an art psychotherapist with a particular interest in working with people creatively and therapeutically outdoors in local woodlands. Scott has a written this blog post about his experiences as a volunteer with the Forest of Avon Trust:
“I wanted to volunteer at the Forest of Avon Trust because it’s a great opportunity to participate in the various activities that the charity provides to help build my skills, knowledge and experience of working with groups outdoors.
“I’ve really enjoyed volunteering on the Woodland Works workshops with adults with learning disabilities run by Rachel Tomlinson and Nicola Ramsden. I learned a great deal from Rachel and Nicola about leading workshops like these and enjoyed seeing how much the participants clearly get from activities such as coppicing, dry-hedge building, sawing, fire-making and camp-cooking.
“In a recent workshop we did a pond dip. It was wonderful to see how enthusiastic and focused the participants were to identify pond wildlife. We were all impressed at how big and ‘mean’ the predator dragon-fly larvae looked!
“I was also fortunate to be able to help Jon Attwood when he led a Level 1 Forest School course and workshops for teachers, play workers and other trainees. Whilst helping out I was able to learn from Jon’s long experience of providing Forest School activities and training.
I’ve already used one activity in my own environmental arts therapy workshops: the group make a circle of wood on the ground and divide it into segments, one for each person. Standing in a segment, each group member faces outwards and walks into the wood to spend time alone reflecting. They also bring back some natural objects that they find, which the group discusses. This activity may seem simple enough, but it offers so much in helping people to immerse themselves in the experience of being in a woodland and sharing this with others in the group.
“I look forward to continuing my association with the Forest of Avon Trust in the future to continue building my knowledge and experience.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the Forest of Avon Trust, please get in touch with Jon Clark at: firstname.lastname@example.org