Ady, Adrian Martin the company owner/founder was using a site that I managed to host his residential activity weekends for Veterans and youth groups. We spoke each time he visited and found that although our paths had never really crossed, we had some very similar experiences and shared interests.
Fast forward to 2019 where I was planning to go out to Pakistan and try K2 for the second time, Ady was super keen to have some involvement and wanted to help me both logistically and with social media, this really started to create a bond between us and also exposed me to more and more of what he was trying to achieve with Woodland Experiences
Ady had set up Woodland Experiences to create a unique, non judgmental, therapeutic environment where Men, Women and Children can escape to. Now this wasn’t just another hippy commune or another campsite helping to “re-wild” this was a genuine, honest approach to helping people, especially Veterans and blue light workers to escape the day to day pressures of modern life and also to help with those suffering from PTSD so assisting with Post Traumatic Growth.
What really attracted me to working with Ady was his unashamed honesty and ability to create warmth and enthusiasm in all that he done, this as you can expect was like a magnet to me and I have not looked back ever since.
Whilst out in Pakistan Ady took charge of all things media, Vlogs, Blogs, Facebook and newspapers he also had the awful task of tracking our personal GPS’s meaning he was the only one back in the UK who could see where we were at all times, when climbing a dangerous mountain this of course comes with the inevitable pressure should something go wrong, however thankfully all parties were safe and we arrived home in one piece. While taking on this role Ady also unknowingly to myself took on the arduous task of converting Woodland Experinces to the new Woodland Xperiences CIC, so that our community could thrive from all of the benefits offered.
My role within the company now is one of Operations Manager, I am tasked with making sure all those who attend are happy and have the necessary opportunities to reflect and recharge before heading back home. This might be from making a brew through to running activity sessions or allowing them to open up about their specific challenges and helping to signpost them to the correct external support or guidance. This role is really rewarding and running the weekends works to recharge my enthusiasm for what I have and what you can achieve. In the past I have suffered from mental illness, challenges in life that I had felt were just too much, I didn’t have the support network around me or more to the point I didn’t know I did, and was never mature enough to reach out and take it. I use my past experiences and successes to help me work with those who are struggling with similar challenges as I once had and for a short while I create a calm, non-judgmental environment where they can feel safe and secure, which is something many folk are challenged with.