08 April 2021
Spring has always been a positive part of the year for me. It’s the beginning of warmer weather, the clocks go back so the garden can be enjoyed more after a hard days work, and the plants and animals that have hunkered down for so long during the coldness, now start to wake up and make the most of the change in season.
This year however, I am looking forward to it even more than ever, because this year its not just the flora and fauna that are re-awakening, it’s also the Outdoor Centre I love, Woodrow!
The last year has been very strange, rewarding, difficult, inspiring, exhausting and life affirming in equal measure. I have been lucky enough to have accommodation on site, so together with some of the instructors, we were able to form a household bubble with the grounds of Woodrow as our back garden.
As the weather was amazing at the start of last year, it meant I was able to really take time to appreciate just how beautiful this place is, and make the most of the opportunities its wealth of plants and animals provide, when you take time to pause and look around you. The suspension of groups also meant there was an opportunity to look at the building and grounds in a new way, and have the ability to finally replace/paint/install new and essential fixtures and fittings. Plants were grown, areas untouched for years were given a little love and care, for which they had been waiting on for so long, and old items gave way to more modern, fit for purpose equipment and furnishings. A very rewarding time in that regard!
And yet, there was always something missing. For me, and I suspect others, Woodrow is a place bigger than the sum of its parts, driven always by people and the human connections that are made here. The staff here play a huge role in providing the heart of the building, and when they are not all here, and opportunities to laugh and smile with people you care about are absent, it is not the same.
Just as importantly, when there are no children here, to run, fall, learn, laugh, make memories, grow and develop into beautiful unique humans, Woodrow is not the same. People are the reason we are here, to help develop the skills in individuals that in turn make them resilient, confident people, who are able to adapt to whatever their futures hold, even one as tough as this situation has been.
So today I am happy. The staff are coming back off furlough, and are busy, proudly working hard to prepare Woodrow for the groups of people that are coming at Easter and beyond. There will be tough times still ahead, but there is now a sense of hope, of a positive change to getting us back doing what we do best – creating lifelong memories for all that visit and work here! Bring on the sunshine!
Written by Mark Saville, Woodrow High House – Operations Manager
Banner photo credit @jsphotographyd33