It's coming up to two months since our launch on Snowdon
and definitely time for a bit of reflection on the journey!
First I just wanted to say a huge
to all of you that have stopped by the stall
over the last few weeks, who have liked us on here, and on Instagram
, and who have handed over email addresses and cards asking to keep in touch. Starting up a new enterprise of any description is tough, and all the hours seem so worth it when I get messages and feedback from people sharing the news articles and research I re-post, customers who are loving their new gear and colleagues in other enterprises (charitable and commercial) encouraging me that this is right. This Social Enterprise can work! We can make it easy to get outdoors!
After 22 years of working in the public and charitable sectors it's been a fantastic learning experience setting up the market stall. Building up stock, figuring out how to set everything out and yep dealing with high winds and rain! But three weeks in it's making money, and is a fantastic way to connect with people. I've always loved finding lovely kit, stuff that's well engineered, that is beautiful and that serves a good purpose. The suppliers of Storm Kettles, Klean Kanteens and the Cake Ts, hats and bags are all lovely, and I hope to widen the range soon.
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Lots more photos of happy folks, along with random shots of my dog Charlie, over on Instagram: http://instagram.com/outdoorpeople_photos
I've been massively helped by the lovely Vanessa on the stall next to me at Broadway Market - the Imaginative Play Store
- and together we make sure there are boxes and toys for kids to play with and stuff to make dens so they can chill out in what is a very hectic market space.
Thanks too to the lovely folk from Stretch London
who let me have the 'pop up shop' in the gorgeous yoga studio in Columbia Road for the last three weeks. There will be a juice bar there from this weekend - do check them out!
Doing the market stall is in many ways like being a playworker, a facilitator, a speaker. My energy needs to be just as positive, relaxed, in the moment. It's all part of the journey. I love the many points where we are all connecting, and whether people buy things, stop to chat, sign up to get the emails or to have a cup of tea nearby, it's lovely to feel the links that will, in some small part, make it easier for everyone to get outdoors.
In other news last week I was very proud to see the #HackneyWildWalks
published in Hackney Today.
I (and Charlie) really enjoyed supporting the Council's lovely Public Health team in developing these walks – finding hidden corners, beautiful gardens and fabulous playgrounds – to entice children to take their parents and friends out to explore.
The locations were chosen because these are the bits of Hackney with unbelievably high rates of childhood obesity, where even on a hot sunny Saturday few children can be seen out playing, where they often rarely leave their estate. We really hope they will encourage everyone out, whether to do these or to make up their own. I'll have some printed copies of the maps free on the stall at the weekend and you can download them here: http://news.hackney.gov.uk/wild-walks/
. Please do share and help make Hackney healthier.
Last month I was also very proud to be made a trustee-in-waiting of The Wild Network, the folks behind the Project Wild Thing
documentary. Our role now is to continue to build the network of individuals and organisations to get children connected with nature. So far there are over 7800 organisations and individuals signed up, each pledging to swap half an hour of screen time for #wildtime. Will you join
I've been sharing a lot of articles about why my mission - making it easy to get outdoors
- is so important. There is such a huge amount of data showing that
We have to do something about climate change. It's real. Plastic, rubbish, waste. We can all do something to reduce these. And we can ensure children are connected enough to want to reduce them too.
Children need risk, they need freedom, they need to play outdoors. Whether they live in Hackney, Hampshire or the Outer Hebrides this is true. For all sorts of reasons.
We all need some green time, even if it's just ten minutes on the front steps, half an hour in the park or a long weekend camping. It makes us happier - and that makes the world happier.
The Outdoor community is growing fast. These messages will change the policies that shape how our communities are formed, and reduce fears and other barriers keeping folks, especially children, inside.
I'll be sharing more soon on the next projects I'll be looking to get involved in, and if you've ideas you'd like to involve Outdoor People in please let me know.
This week you can find me
- at Hackney's Broadway Market in the Schoolyard on Saturday
- In London Fields by the Martello St entrance on Tuesday at 8:30 am serving tea with a Storm Kettle after yoga (assuming good weather)
- On the interweb...
Enjoy being Outdoor People!