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consultancy, Exhale, Hackney, Hackney Wild Walks, Market, newsletter, Project Wild Thing, Teach First, The Wild Network, Treasure Hunt -

I hope you got to enjoy some of the lovely autumn sunshine in the last week? And maybe collected some conkers and leaves? Hello to the large number of emails I just added to the list – sorry it took a while! And hello to all of you that have been with me since the start! Outdoor People is building as a social enterprise, and I’ve just been doing a lot of reflecting on the last six months and am very much looking forward to the next few months – quite a lot to be getting on with! Breaking news is I’ve been invited to write a series of blogs for Children and Young People Now and my first will be published in the next week or two. I’ll let you know when it is. Pretty excited about this, CYPN goes out to pretty much every organisation in the children and youth sectors and every local authority! “Hackney’s own adventure shop” (a lovely customer just recently said!) If you get a chance to come down to the stall you’ll see some great new stock – rucksacks, rocket stoves, backpacking stoves and hammocks. I’ve been putting one of the new Boreas rucksacks through its paces and it is just brilliant. Got a last minute restock of the fantastic Klean Kanteens this eve, thankful as only had two small flasks left! You can see lots of photos on the Instagram site – and you don’t have to me signed up to check them out. I have sold well over a hundred of the small flasks since I set up now, and just had my first couple of returns because of faults. I’m glad to say the supplier is brilliant and totally honours the lifetime guarantee as long as it is a genuine fault. Another reason why I love them so much! That and because I love hot tea and they are so pretty… Next year I’m glad to say we will be taking the shop, and hiring out tents again at Exhale Festival, in 2015 in TWO venues! At Easter a boutique festival, mainly targeted at adults though children welcomed, in the beautiful mountains above Seville in the South of Spain. And then in August we’ll be teaming up with the fantastic Sylvan Adventures to provide bushcraft and kids outdoor play for the main festival on a site at least double the size of last year’s! Buy early bird tickets – only available for the next few days – here. If you think you’d like a tent just email, the web page will be up next week. Check out the Exhale 2014 video to pick up the vibe here. The film screening of Project Wild Thing with Urban Free Range Kids was fantastic, very well attended and raised funds to help make the five-day-a week outdoor nursery a reality. They are startring their sessions properly on the 5th November so if you have small kids do check them out! As a trustee of The Wild Network I was on the panel appointing Mark Sears as the new Director and Nick Stace as Chair. We are very excited about both appointments, and about the next steps on the journey for the charity. Please do join the Wild Network if you haven’t yet – over 10,000 members and rising! We are particularly seeking folks that might be interested in being part of the advisory council who are from BME communities or are disabled, so if you or anyone you know fits that bill please do email. I’ll be doing a press release with Gift Your Gear in the run up to Christmas, and we’ve already collected a pretty large crate of stuff! If you have outdoors gear to donate you can drop it at the stall or email me, so I can either pick up or arrange for them to pick up direct. I’ve done four professional development sessions for people working with families in Hackney to help them promote #HackneyWildWalks and feedback has been fantastic. Two of the walks involved early years children, one was adults only and another, with Laburnum boat club, involved a lovely group of young people who were just brilliant at map reading. Some photos are up on Flikr, there are more to come. Out of these I’ve developed a booklet of useful resources, do let me know if you’d like a copy. A resource pack of posters and stickers will be available shortly too, free to organisations that have been part of the project or who are in Hackney and work with families. There are two, possibly three more sessions to come, one on the 12th November, others tbc. Do sign up if you work with families and...

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Cake, consultancy, Diary, HackneyWildWalks, Klean Kanteen, Market, Outdoor People, Storm Kettles, Wild Network, Wildtime -

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 sticker to all of you that have stopped by the stall over the last few weeks, who have liked us on here, and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, 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. [gallery type="rectangular" columns="9" link="none" ids="436,432,427,421,430,434,414,415,435"] 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. IMG_1988 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. Hackney Wild WalksI (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. PWT poster croppedLast 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? On Facebook 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...

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