We are Wild Kind CIC, and we are a community well being organization that seeks to respond to changing times through empowerment of communities to reconnect together outdoors. Our key project is Wild Tots, which offers a unique service that enables, trains and empowers local parents to run affordable outdoor creative play sessions that bring parents and children together in their own community. Key benefits: open up local, natural green spaces for increased nature connection, peer to peer support between parents and environmental stewardship. Wild Kind believes that the benefits of connecting with nature and the outdoors should be available to the whole community. We are therefore expanding our breadth of services to provide for all generations of the community e.g pregnant mothers, school age children and the elderly. Wild Kind is looking to be involved with Renew because it can open up the climate action agenda to a wide breadth of our local community. We know that our groups attract and foster a connection and love of the natural world but we can see that many of the communities we support feel stuck on how they can play their part. We would love to bring the experience and knowledge from Renew to inspire and activate our community connections on climate change action.
Why are you drawn to this area of work, and how have you helped community groups take action in the past?
I am drawn to this area of work because I believe that action on climate change is the biggest priority we collectively need to take action on for the future of our children and the planet. I believe that there is a huge opportunity for the climate crisis to act as a potential catalyst for our communities to break free from the old story of economic growth at the expense of our childrens future and forge a new path where well being and a healthy environment are at the heart.
Since setting up Wild Tots with my own children I have gone on to empower communities to create a dynamic outdoor option for their children in their own community that wasn’t considered available, affordable or seen as the ‘norm’. Along with my co-founder we have taken this model to communities of varying demographics across 5 counties in South Wales with fantastic results. The journey for many of our parent volunteers has been staggering, some starting out under confident to take their own children outdoors for wild play to confidently facilitating a full Wild Tots session with their children on a weekly basis. Hearing these volunteer parents feedback that they feel greater connection to the natural world and a fiercer motivation to protect it for their children has been hugely rewarding.
In my previous work I was involved with community development in the south Wales valleys where I played an integral role in facilitating community action on improving both the natural and built environment for greater sustainability and well being. These included community growing schemes, small scale horticultural projects, community kitchens, community waste schemes and exploring renewable energy options. This required me to meet people where they are at, actively listen and work alongside them to identify the change they want to make and the action they need to take.
More recently I have personally been working on supporting local parents to come together on facing climate change through the set up of an online platform called Climate Concerns Children. This has enabled important discussion and recently rallied a group of families to come together and support their children to take part in the monthly school strikes for climate.
What’s your vision of the area where you live and/or work in 2050? What will have changed and how will we have got there?
In 2050 my vision is a community who are able to pull together and act as if climate change is an emergency. I want my local communities to have placed the next 7 generations at the heart of all decision making from grassroots right up to government level.
I want communities that are resilient, sustainable and have reclaimed health and well being over consumerism. Communities who don’t feel pressured to conform at the expense of the planet and who are brave to try and do things differently. Communities who prize co-creating and collaboration over ‘getting ahead’.
What needs to change in order to get there:
- We need ‘new leadership’ who can think in complex ways, collaborate and work together to co-create a better future for us all.
- To provide spaces and places to open up discussion on the climate crisis that is non judgemental, listening, supportive and empowering – support for acknowledgement and shared grief. I believe a culture of regenerative circles could help hugely
- To build sustainable models of sustainable food production
- Adopting and implementing a zero carbon fossil free future in all areas of our lives
- A new system of government where the climate change agenda is not a political one