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Written from the perspective of Kevin, a student placement;

When I first put my hand up for a team building day, I wondered what I had let myself in for!  I was worried that I would be building rafts, or trekking up a mountain, something that I find physically very difficult to do these days.  When the day finally came, we headed off in the minibus to the Wyre Estuary Country Park.  Mike, Alex, and Sally were there waiting to meet us as we arrived, and they immediately made us all feel very welcome and quickly allayed my fears.  The blueprint for the day was the 5 ways to wellbeing, which we are all aware of here at Red Rose, but we maybe don’t put into to practice for ourselves.  Mike gave us a breakdown of what the day was all about, and what they had planned for the day.  They told us that the focus of the day was to de-stress from everyday life’s pressures, reconnect with nature, slow things down, take notice of our surroundings and connect as a group within the relaxed environment.  First up, was a nature walk; one of the things that I noticed was what a beautiful place we had come to; the walk took us along a path which traced the edges of the estuary.  All along the walk, each member of the team shared their rich knowledge of nature with us.  Mike told us about the birds that have made the estuary their home, Alex shared their love of butterflies, and Sally took the time to tell us about the importance of pollinators.  Along the walk back, we stopped to undertake a count of butterflies for a national survey, it really felt like we were giving something back by taking part in the monitoring of butterfly species.  It was a very relaxing and mindful way to begin the day.   

When we got back to camp, Mike taught us how to light a fire using a flint and steel and some fluff collected from thistles, we all had a go, and we all definitely felt like Bear Grylls!  Soon we had a roaring fire with a pot of soup on the boil.  After a hearty meal of lentil soup and chunky bread, we moved on to the afternoon’s activities.  First up was some woodland management, which consisted of removing some weeds smothering a newly planted hedge; again, we all felt really positive about giving back to this beautiful environment.  Once again, we returned to camp, this time to make our own crafts to take home.  Mike helped us make our own Terrarium, Alex taught us how to do some weaving with a couple of sticks and some wool, and Sally showed us how to plant seedlings in an egg box.  We all felt very proud and accomplished afterwards.  Finally, we spent the last few minutes being mindful of the beautiful day that was now coming to a close.  Mike, Alex and Sally had delivered a fantastic experience, the day had been filled with wonderful activities, we all felt refreshed and ready to get back to our everyday lives feeling renewed.   

Find out more about The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery at: