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#OutdoorPeople, Christmas, Diary, Exhale, newsletter, Online Shop, Shop, snowdon, sustainability -

Phew. What a  year 2014 was. I can't believe Outdoor People is now over seven months old! I must admit on stepping down from Play England back in March, and leaving the NCB in May, setting up my own company was a very scary step to take. And to try to build it as a 'social enterprise' an even scarier one. Most people don't even know what a social enterprise is, and frankly even those that do have many different definitions! Could I cope with the drastic change in income? Could my husband? Could I cope without a great team around me? Where on earth would I get stuff to sell and could I cope with not just giving stuff away??? How could I keep ensuring what I do benefits children? So anyway  after a very blustery launch in May I set out with a clear mission:

To Make the Outdoors Easy - especially for families and children
IMG_0618 And with a lot of hard work, building on existing networks and backing from friends and family, and the many fabulous customers, it does indeed seem to be working! So I want to use this first blog of 2015 to say Thank you To so many folks...
  • Everyone we've worked with over the last year:
    • The lovely people who have commissioned work from us;
    • all the wonderful customers and folks that have come to the stall;
    • the folks behind Exhale festival;
    • and most definitely the families that came camping!
Big thanks too to the great folks at the Tornado Boiler Company (the Storm Kettles), Kairaasi (the tiffins), Cake Club Clothing (the hats) and Whitby & Co (who distribute Klean Kanteen and Niteize) for being the first to back the rather weird idea of a high-end design-led outdoor gear market stall! So what next? The Board of the 'social' bit of the 'Social Enterprise has just expanded and I'll be introducing you to the new board members soon. Fingers crossed we'll have some projects to make a practical difference locally and further afield soon. Nationally I'll continue to be supporting The Wild Network as a board member, to lobby, campaign and shout about the critical importance of kids being outdoors, not just for their own sake (and the sanity of their parents/teachers/families!) but for the future of the planet... I'll also be doing what I can to support the London wide campaign to get us named 'Greater London National Park', as well as continuing to help other locally based organisations that get kids outdoors. We've just completed the first phase of Hackney Wild Walks and I'll be discussing with the new board - and the council - where to next on that. And what about the 'Shop'? IMG_6047 I'll be spending part of the next four weeks revamping the website a bit and thinking about where the 'shop' will go as the seriously 'enterprise' bit of the social enterprise. We'll be back in the Schoolyard of Broadway Market on Saturday January 17th, and folks can order online, first post out will be Monday 5th. The 'shop' has really done as well as I could have hoped - and far, far better than my mum expected!! - so what next?? Do I just consolidate and build up the stall and online? Or do I look for a concession or a shop? Or do some pop up shops? Thoughts from you as Outdoor Peeps are very welcome! So here's wishing you many fantastic Outdoors Adventures for 2015, and hoping they are good ones!
Happy New Year 2015 original
Happy Outdoors New Year 2015!

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#OutdoorPeople, Broadway Market Schoolyard, East London Design Show, Exhale, Newsletter, Online Shop -

IMG_6047Whilst I'm a firm believer that the best toys for kids include sticks, mud and cardboard boxes, I'm very happy to say that our trip to the East London Design Show was a huge success. As a social enterprise I sometimes struggle with the idea of selling stuff - but if you buy from us (and other small social enterprises) you help contribute to the growing ethical consumer trend. More news on what our profits are going towards further down. Lots of photos over on Instagram. In the meantime please note now is your LAST CHANCE before Christmas to buy online from us! All orders with us by 11am Friday 18th December will get in the post, and as a special they'll be posted first class/first class signed. This weekend we'll have the full stall at Broadway Market Schoolyard on Saturday and will be doing a pop up for last minute gifts at London Fields Sunday Market, also in the Schoolyard. You can also order online and come and pick up from London Fields on Christmas Eve evening. Breaking news... Just got some new Petromax products in - the small storm lanterns and the tiniest multifuel stove you ever saw! - and some new small Storm Kettles in lovely new packaging. And just got in the Klean Kanteen Mirror Reflect limited edition bottles. If you want one for Christmas get in there now! Just so pretty! F1Ti blank K18SSLRF-MS_CMYK_full-res Hobo Stove lantern IMG_2425In other news I got my first proper bid in as Outdoor People, looking for funding to support taking single mums and others camping next year. All sales of key camping kit - tents, stoves etc - will specifically match fund the bids I'm making for this project, so hopefully be able to tell you more soon. IMG_5771Tickets for Exhale Spain and Exhale Fairoaks Farm are selling well - why not treat yourself or your partner to a promise of a Yoga Festival as an amazing present? I'll be hiring out tents again at both - again with profits going to subsidise the first time camping trips project. I'll also be working with some amazing bushcraft and play friends for the Exhale Fairoaks Farm providing fun for kids of all ages. More on that in the New Year! Finally we held the last of this series of Hackney Wild Walks Workshops with professionals from across the borough who work with families. It's been a huge privilege, and I'm now loving hearing about (and in some cases helping) the walks the Children's Centres and others are organising themselves and the plans they have to get all the families they work with outdoors and exploring! [gallery type="slideshow" ids="1434,1449,1295,1297,1168,1154,1139,1126,1471,1472,1473,1474,1475,1476,1477,1478,1479,1480,1481,1482,1483,1484,1485,1486,1487,1488,1489,1490,1491,1492,1493,1494,1495,1496,1497,1498,1499,1500,1501,1502,1503,1504,1505,1506,1507,1508,1509,1510,1511,1512,1513,1514,1515,1516,1517,1518" orderby="rand"]

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Newsletter, Play England, policy, Project Wild Thing, risk:benefit, sustainability, The Hospital Club, The Play Return -

Hi all The online shop is open! (Apologies if you've seen the posts of last few days and knew that!!) IMG_5735 And if you check the last blog you can see a 15% discount too :-) I'd never actually heard of 'black Friday', but as everyone else seemed to be offering a discount this weekend... However I'm with all the environmental organisations out there, I'm pushing a sustainable brand of consumerism... buy a Kleen Kanteen and re-use people! IMG_5772Another exciting week - Monday especially. As a Director of The Wild Network I was invited to speak at The Hospital Club's Sustainability Week, focusing on Project Wild Thing and discussing, amongst other things, how we can get children and young people to really, really care about sustainability, and of course how simply getting outdoors as kids is one of the solutions. Then today I enjoyed popping over to the Play England AGM where we heard from, amongst others, Tim Gill talking about his synopsis of the evidence for Play Provision "The Play Return".

Did you know 10% of the NHS budget goes on addressing type 2 diabetes? And that exercise is a known preventor of that disease? And that active kids make active adults?
Sounds like a pretty clear case to me, but we've a way to go before every public health lead across the country sees it. We also heard from Professor David Ball, a guru on all things risk:benefit. If you have to do risk assessments for any reason please do check out the simple risk:benefit proforma he (with Tim Gill and Bernard Spiegal) developed, sponsored by the Play Safety Forum. Rest of the week I've been working on the online shop and prepping for the East London Design Show - do take advantage of the 2 for 1 offer if you can! ELDS_2for1_voucher Have fun this weekend, and do share your outdoor adventures!

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black friday, Diary, newsletter, Shop, social enterprise -

Just write "MakeBlackFridayGoOutdoors" at the checkout and for this weekend only you can get a whopping 15% discount... Click on through to the online shop Even if you aren't looking to buy anything just now I'd really appreciate feedback - the shop is an integral foundation for the social enterprise, and a great way to connect with folk about the message. But it only works if it works!! So constructive feedback on any aspect very welcomed. Not everything is up yet, but rest assured it's built on a trusted platform - Shopify - and trusted customers have fully tested all the integral 'shop' bits so payment etc is all sorted. I've a pile of recycled brown paper, string and recycled Jiffy bags for postage, and biodegradable bubble wrap on the way... Keeping it green and as sustainable as I can isn't cheap, but not much point being a social enterprise and undermining my principles in the postage! And as an added incentive - and to help me practise! - I'll gift wrap your parcels if you ask me to and say you saw it on the blog, Fb, Insta or Twitter! Make it easy to get outdoors, and lay down some memories this weekend! IMG_5794.JPG

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#OutdoorPeople, BHF, cypn, HackneyWildWalks, newsletter, The Hospital Club -

Hi all Been an exciting week! Last night was the Children And Young People Now Awards and I was very honoured to be invited along. It was a great evening, honouring many amazing projects - including several fantastic play projects - and a great chance to catch up with past colleagues from across several careers! Sam Gyimah, Childcare Minister, gave the keynote speech and using the opportunity to talk about children's mental health and launch a new cross-department strategy to improve mental health services in schools.

"The very fact I’m talking here today shows that children’s mental health has a place on the political stage that hasn’t been seen before. In fact, I’m the first ever DfE minister to be appointed with specific responsibility for children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)."
It remains to be seen whether he or his colleagues will see the MASSIVE link between simply getting outdoors, roaming wild and playing free and good mental health. Yesterday too Outdoor People, in partnership with Hackney Council, had honourable mention at the British Heart Foundation's National Conference entitled "Promoting Physical Activity by Stealth" where we were delighted to be asked to present a poster. What do you reckon?? Wild Walks Poster BHF You can see it full size here: Wild Walks BHF Poster The other big news, as you may have seen, is we are off to the East London Design Show! For more check out the previous blog ;) And finally the online shop is neeeeearly here. It is actual online, here, but not yet linked in to the website. Hope it will be very soon! my goodness it takes a long time to upload everything... Oh one last thing, on Monday I'll be speaking at The Hospital Club's Sustainability Week as a board member of The Wild Network, discussing the links between kids being outdoors and future sustaibility. Afterwards there is a foraged dinner!! I understand there are still a few tickets, book here. Have a great weekend! And make it easy to #GetOutdoors and get yourselves so #wildtime!

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