There are so many people, organisations and charitable trusts we would like to thank for the incredible support shown to us during the pandemic. Schools and groups have been so very understanding in revising and putting trips on-hold, rebooking as soon as they are able to do so; local councils have advised and worked with us in obtaining the generous government grants available to us and charitable trusts have continued their wonderful donations, enabling us to reopen with all the necessary equipment we needed to replace. A big ‘Thank You’, one and all.
A BIG WELCOME TO CRAIG WRIGHT OUR NEW CENTRE MANAGER
With the departure of our previous, long-serving Centre Manager, Darren Nutting, who has relocated with his family to the north of England, we faced the daunting prospect of finding a replacement. We were thrilled when Craig applied for the job, bringing with him much experience of outdoor learning, a long list of qualifications in instructing activities, significant management experience and a genuine love and enthusiasm for all Woodlands Adventure has to offer. Craig already has many ideas for new activities, more about which you can read below.
With the end of both winter and the recent covid surge in sight, preparations for the new season are well underway here at Woodlands Adventure.
Our wonderful staff team, under the direction of our new, experienced and enthusiastic Centre Manager, have been busy at work, preparing for the arrival of the many groups, old friends and new, who have booked visits throughout the spring, summer and autumn months ahead. Our many exciting activities have been through rigorous maintenance and safety checks, new equipment has been purchased with the help of the many charitable trusts which support us, the buildings have been spring-cleaned and the lake and grounds have been cleared of winter debris. The site is looking fantastic!
The last two years have not been easy for any of us but with the incredible help we have received from many sources, we have well and truly survived and, with new plans in place, we are looking forward to making Woodlands Adventure an even better experience for all our visitors. We hope you will enjoy reading our 2022 Newsletter and will be joining us in the near future.
So, hurry up and make your bookings – the spare slots are going fast!! See you soon!
Using our extensive woodland, grounds and buildings, the team will be offering some new activities from April for all to enjoy. The first is our ‘Woodlands Explore & Discover’ activity. Using modern GPS units and two way radios, your group will explore our woods and grounds, discovering facts about the site and the local wildlife. This activity promotes independence and team work, communication skills and leadership. Problem solving will also be emphasised with the practical understanding and application of GPS navigation helping towards KS2/KS3 STEM targets and will be suitable for age 7 upwards. Then there is the Atlatl Throwing activity, involving safe spear-throwing techniques first used very early in human history in several parts of the world. This will develop throwing skills, both in accuracy and distance. Thirdly, we now offer an important ‘First Aid for Children’ course using basic mannequins and CPR. Craig is a qualified First Aid instructor so your young participants will be awarded a certificate at the end of the hour-course. Craig will also be developing adult First Aid certified courses for the many staff members in organisations who require this qualification. Please contact Lynne for further details.
And for the future – perhaps a caving experience – watch this space!!
WELCOME BACK TO OUR STAFF ‘NEW AND OLD’
Like so many firms and businesses, we regrettably had to furlough many staff and make others redundant. However, our permanent team is back in place with many former and some new faces. You can see their photos and profiles on our website but we just want to show our appreciation for all they do in naming them here – Lynne, our Office Manager, Greg our Activities Manager, Sue and Karen our Cleaning Operatives, Kieran, Pete and Amy, our Senior Instructors and Josh, Kai, Stacey, Dave, Luke, Harry and Mark all of whom are Instructors. They will shortly be joined by additional temporary staff to cover the busy season ahead.
Readers may recall that we previously obtained planning permission to convert our Sports Hall into a new residential block. However, the changing needs of the groups that come to Woodlands have meant that we have had to re think our original plans. Rather than build a further residential development we have decided to convert the sports hall into a multi-purpose building.
Improvements in heating, insulation, lighting and the structure itself will enable us to use the hall as an indoor space for groups when the weather is at its worst as well as being a resource to use during the evening. We plan to provide a full length archery range and perhaps a challenging indoor bouldering face too – watch this space!
For the instructors, having the ability to create ‘outdoor classrooms’ in the Hall will also further the center’s development in running activities that support the national curriculum to enhance the overall outcomes of our school visits.
FAMILY DAYS OUT
Following the great success of our Family Days during covid and travel restrictions, we have decided to continue to offer Woodlands Adventure experiences to families during half-term and summer holidays. From feedback and without exception, all who attended enjoyed a great day-out, with parents having as good a time as their offspring! Please contact Lynne for further details of available days and activities – we will be delighted to see you.
SOCIAL MEDIA – LOOK OUT FOR US
In addition to her Senior Instructor duties, Amy is helping Lynne with office management tasks, meeting and greeting groups and raising our social media profile. The sites below will give daily updates on what is happening at Woodlands Adventure. Thank you Amy!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Woodlands BBGU
OUR WORK AS A CHARITY
We are ever mindful of our responsibilities as a registered charity and we welcome groups which need additional support in order to enjoy and benefit from our activities. Recently, with a very generous donation from Kids Adventurous Activities, we are purchasing a Katakanu, a very stable craft for up to six people. We are also delighted to be working with The Westminster School in Rowley Regis, an outstanding special school which caters for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and additional needs. Older pupils will be working at Woodlands Adventure, helping to plant trees and repair fences before enjoying a range of team building exercises. We are sure that this will be a wonderful partnership which will be beneficial to us all.
Our charitable status means that we do not make profits but reinvest any surplus we make back into the Centre. In setting prices for the forthcoming year, we are very aware of the difficulties many families and groups are facing with increases in the costs of living. We are endeavouring to keep our prices as low as possible whilst paying our staff at the correct levels and maintaining our site and we will do our utmost to help those schools and groups which are facing problems in financing their bookings. Please speak to Lynne if you find yourself in this position.
Here is what some of our customers had to say:
“Thank you 😀Another brilliant day 😀 Team did a brilliant job”
“Would just like to say we had such a fab day today. Thank you to all the staff for making it Covid safe. You have done a fantastic job”
“Fabulous morning rock climbing and abseiling today. The team were so lovely and made it really enjoyable for the children (and adults). We already can’t wait to go again”
A THOUSAND THANKS
Where do we start thanking all our wonderful supporters? The generosity of the Charitable Trusts who have funded vital items of equipment and those who have allocated unrestricted funds, never fails to move us and we are so grateful to them (see list below): the many Headteachers, Teachers and Finance staff in schools who have not cancelled trips but have postponed their visits have ensured that we have a diary of bookings to return to, Walsall MBC staff for their continued help in ensuring that we received generous government help in the form of the various grants which we were able to claim, and many anonymous donors whom we cannot thank personally. We are so very grateful to you all.
We would like to thank the following for their grants, gifts and donations over the last 2 years. We really do appreciate your support which is vital to our charity’s continued success.
Albright Grimley Charity
Baron Davenport’s Charity
Bernard Piggott Charitable Trust
Bite Size Pieces
Cole Charitable Trust
Edward and Dorothy Cadbury Trust
Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust
GJW Turner Trust
Grantham Yorke Trust
Kids Adventurous Activities
Knowle Male Voice Choir
Lady Tangye Trust Limited
Lillie C Johnson Charitable Trust
Lord Austin Trust
Mr G Breatnach
Mrs A Jenkins, in memory of Mr J Cooper
Richard Cadbury Charitable Trust
SAKS Investment Club
Sir John Sumner’s Trust
The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust
The Dagny Raymond Charitable Trust
The Eric W. Vincent Trust Fund
The George Henry Collins Charity
The Goodenough Charitable Trust
The Grimmitt Trust
The Joan Lamb Charitable Trust
The Loppylugs and Barbara Morrison Charitable Trust
The Measures Trust
The Michael Marsh Charitable Trust
The Roger & Douglas Turner Charitable Trust
The Rowlands Trust
W.E.D Charitable Trust
Whitegates Children’s Trust
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our latest newsletter, if you would like a copy emailed to you or would like to be added to newsletter emailing list, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.