Carymoor Environmental Trust

Community connections with Able2Achieve

Community connections with Able2Achieve

Able2Achieve share their experience of Carymoor

Published: 29th Nov 2023

Learners from Able2Achieve have been coming to Carymoor for several years for various projects.  Since July a group has visited every Thursday to take part in outdoor activities and to learn nature conservation skills. In November they held an Open Day on our site to show parents, family, Able2Achieve managers and staff, what coming to Carymoor means to them.


Joe Knights, Learning Facilitator at A2A started the day with a presentation which aimed to show how valuable and important Carymoor is; not just to the Learners and A2A, but to the wider community, and how the Carymoor influence has rippled through much of what the Learners do in the community.  


Why Carymoor?


Joe reports: "During lockdown many of the Learners had struggled with the amount of time spent indoors. Once we were back outdoors we saw a major increase in positivity from Learners attending and spending time out on the nature reserve.


The second draw to Carymoor was the structured approach.  The team know the site well, are familiar with many of the regular tasks they need to carry out and are familiar with the staff team here. For many Learners this helps to reduce anxiety around the unknown and change.


Sessions are led with knowledge and the Learners are always given the right equipment to carry out the job. Often, being given exposure to equipment they may never have otherwise encountered, from sweep nets and moth traps to long handled pruners and nettle whackers.  Regular activities involve pollarding, bramble clearing, meadow raking, site repairs and planting (flowers and trees). 


Learners who have attended for a longer time have become more and more confident with these tasks leading to more independent work. 


And of course, the staff team are incredible


They see our Learners as team members, and treat them as adults, not just people with disabilities. They help progress their skills, guide them out of their comfort zone and help them succeed every week.


Wendy and Gayle, Carymoor volunteers, are firm favourites and through their insight to the group have been able to find new ways to work with individuals who do not communicate verbally or found new tasks that are better suited to the Learner. 


Jackie, Carymoor's Volunteer Co-ordinator, unfortunately passed away this year. Jackie led many group activities and treated every Learner with a kindness we’d wish more people in the world could show others.


A big thank you to Neil, who works with us nearly every week. Neil has passed on lots of knowledge to Learners and staff alike and has pushed the Learners capability, through his calm and to the point teaching method. Neil is a brilliant ambassador for Carymoor. 



The Learners know that their impact positively effects wildlife but also the other groups that attend Carymoor. 


A Learner once told me, ‘It is a nice change to help others instead of people always offering to help me’ and Carymoor allows that to happen with every visit. 


A big point for us is the lasting impacts


The Learners don’t just use these skills at Carymoor, they take it into the community and the more they do it, the more confident they become, which is noted by many people we work with. 


The diagram below shows the spread of projects the learners have been involved in, with Carymoor at the centre and providing the base for learning new skills.
















As Carymoor have got to know the Learners and the other projects we support, they have also introduced new activities that can benefit both parties and we are very excited to think about what can be achieved in the future. 



And of course, it's enjoyable, fun, and we are invested in the site and love being here. It is good for our physical and mental wellbeing and the memories of time spent at Carymoor will always be ones of happiness and achievement. 



Thank you to Carymoor for helping each and every Learner to become part of something larger than we could of ever hoped for. We really can’t wait to see what happens next."


Following the presentation the Learners and visitors took part in some practical tasks on the reserve, with the Learners demonstrating skills they have gained during their time with us.


We are so grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund and Open Mental Health for supporting this work.


 National Lottery Community Fund - Wikipedia        


We're always on the look out for people with time to spare!

Whether that's the odd hour, a regular day or even a longer work experience placement, your time is very valuable to us. Our growing team of volunteers makes a vital contribution both at the centre and at events across the county.

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