Over the last 5 years CLR has reached over 2000 young and disadvantaged people and families across our programmes. Our flagship projects, Call of the Wild and Earthwise, were funded under Natural England’s Access to Nature Grant and MIND’s Ecominds grant raising over £160,000 towards creating outdoor opportunities for the most disadvantaged groups in our society.
We offer bespoke family days in partnership with organisations from around Sussex and whole-heartedly support getting families out together to have fun, have a supported break and meet each other.
Find out more about our 'Woodland Project' in partnership with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Learning Disability / Family Intensive Support Service (CAMHSLD/FISS).
Listen to Marina Robb at the Ecotherapy Works Conference, explaining how Circle of Life's Earthwise project have used nature-based activities to improve the mental wellbeing of children and young people in Sussex.
Our partners, CAMHS, FISS and ESFCA, whom we have worked closely with, all report barriers for these families and young people in accessing activities that promote individual well-being and familial relationships. The siblings rarely have quality family time with their carers or parents. To alleviate these issues, individuals and families need increased opportunities to interact as a family and interact with other people in similar situations in a safe and natural environment in which they can feel more secure and more open to learning new skills and discovering new dynamics within themselves and among their families.
Since 2009 through funding from Eco-minds have been able to offer Family days for young people with mental health issues. This project was run in partnership with East Sussex Child and Adolescent and Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
"If someone with really bad depression is just stuck inside they’ll never be able to bond with other people who have it, you can share your stories with other people that have it and you know they’re not going to laugh at you.."
These days give hope that they too can have some 'normal' time, and witness what is possible for them as a family.
Through funding, we are now working alongside Family Intensive Support Service (FISS) team offering Family Days for families who have children with learning or physical disabilities.
Marian Williams, FISS Team Leader Feb 2014 reports that “The Circle of Life Project is the only kind of provision I have found. ……For the disabled child it gives them a sense of freedom away from restrictions. ……. Frequently the family do not go out as they experience discrimination from the general public due to their disabled child's challenging behaviour. Sometimes it can become just too hard to take their disabled child into the community.”
" I have enjoyed being a family, rather than a family with a problem.“
“Usually I can’t go out with my children because people look at us funny. They just think they are naughty.”
“I would never have thought he could do that.”
East Sussex Foster Carer Association (ESFCA) Family Days and Camps for Children Who Foster and Looked after children.
Children who foster tell stories of being bitten or beaten by traumatised Looked after children, and of having stories of abuse disclosed to them. On the other hand, the relationship between Children who foster and the Looked after children they live with can become very close. When these children are moved on, for whatever reason, this can feel like bereavement for the child left behind.
For fostering families, the young people receive recognition of their difficult role in the success of fostering placements and the parents have a chance to meet other parents in thier situation.
For more information please email:
01273 814226 07966 514469
"Its been really good to see all the children and parents interacting and having quality bonding time." Family Day Participant 2014
"We really enjoyed it, it was wonderful to spend a day as a family, which is so rare these days, loved the activities, loved the peaceful and fun environment." Family Day Participant 2013
"The parents, without exception, commented on how professional and expert your staff were and I think that showed in how smoothly the day went and the way in which the young peoples’ attentions were held for the whole day." East Sussex Foster Carer Association
"An enormous thank you, to you all, for helping create a fantastic day yesterday. The atmosphere was wonderful and the flow of the day was perfect, all the families had a really good time. " FISS Staff Member
"I learnt on the family camp the plants you can eat ... and how to play the music better." Family Camp Participant 2013
"I’d like to have more of these camps because in general it was really fun. It was a brilliant time." Family Camp Participant 2013
"The Circle of Life Outreach experience is second to none." FISS Staff Member
"Good to have fresh air and being amongst the trees. I feel like a Tiger here." Family Camp Participant 2012
"I can be my self and nobody will laugh at me. It is also like freedom." Family Camp Participant 2012
"I like these days because they improve my nature skills. They are very fun to be at. I love these days." Family Camp Participant 2012
"I love the natural environment and the mental space I have here. Knowing my kids are safely supervised and happy is great." Family Camp Participant 2012