Client: Sussex Recovery College
Location: Self-contained nature site, nr Brighton
Group Size: 20
Who they are:
Sussex Recovery College offer educational courses designed to promote self-management of mental health and recovery. The courses are delivered by a combination of professional and peer trainers.
Why a strategy away day on legacy in the wild?
The peer trainers have tended to work independently, and didn’t know others from different regions very well. The college wanted to bring the peer trainers together to celebrate achievements, and to look at how they work together, using nature as an inspiration for the learning.
“How do we generate a stronger, more integrated team?”
“What do we want our legacy to be?“
Sussex Recovery College wanted to bring their people together. So we started with a fire making session where the trainers had to help each other, then we looked at the integration and legacy questions around the campfire in the afternoon.
After setting the context for the day, we explained how nature’s ecosystem relates to a team. For example, how the mycellium network connects trees and plants underground, and how nature is vibrant, interdependent, and messy - there’s competition, but it also is supportive and balancing,
Then we ran icebreaker exercises to help people get to know each other, and to show them where they had commonalities, and differences. They found it interesting and fun.
The fire making session was about sparking ideas, and bringing individual sparks together into one fire. The group were not used to these kind of activities, but everyone persevered and got it.
The learning was about not giving up, and helping each other.
Afterwards we made a delicious lunch together, that featured nettle tempura and wild pesto - both hits with the group.
In the afternoon at the workshop by the fire, the group worked together to come up with lots of positive ideas about connecting and sharing, and strong legacy statements such as: “we would like to liberate people from mental health services, and to be remembered by a student who has turned their life around due to Recovery College.”
The feeling was one of a shared purpose and a desire for a meaningful legacy, to be honed at further discussions.
What they said:
“I don’t think it could have worked better to be honest.”
Julie Walters, Clinical Lead
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.