Greenwood Club

What is the Greenwood Club?

Dorset Forest School started the Greenwood Club in 2010 as part of the Dorset AONB (Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty) project ‘Stepping into Nature’. The Greenwood Club aims to provide positive shared experiences and memories for those individuals living with dementia and their amazing carers. The group learn green woodworking techniques, rural crafts and cooking outdoors in a relaxing woodland environment.

For everyone living with dementia and their carers. Our Greenwood Club offers a variety of activities for all ages and abilities. The group warmly welcomes new members to meet up on a weekly basis to chat, craft and cook together, as well as supporting eachother. 

Our fully trained and DBS-checked Forest School Leaders are experts in bushcraft, woodwork, arts and craft and will help you to overcome any obstacles together. The club runs regularly within the beautiful grounds of the Holton Lee Estate, near Upton Country Park. The site is easily accessible, has a large carpark, indoor space, disabled toilets and a compost loo at the ‘basecamp’. Mobility scooters are available on request

What is the Greenwood Club?

Dorset Forest School started the Greenwood Club in 2010 as part of the Dorset AONB (Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty) project ‘Stepping into Nature’. The Greenwood Club aims to provide positive shared experiences/memories for those individuals living with dementia and their amazing carers. The group learn green woodworking techniques, rural crafts and cooking outdoors in a relaxing woodland environment.

For everyone living with dementia and their carers. Our Greenwood Club offers a variety of activities for all ages and abilities. The group warmly welcomes new members to meet up on a weekly basis to chat, craft and cook together, as well as supporting eachother. Our fully trained and DBS-checked Forest School Leaders are experts in bushcraft, woodwork, arts and craft and will help you to overcome any obstacles together. The club runs regularly within the beautiful grounds of the Holton Lee Estate, near Upton Country Park. The site is easily accessible, has a large carpark, indoor space, disabled toilets and a compost loo at the ‘basecamp’. Mobility scooters are available on request

What do we do at the Greenwood Club?

The group learn how to work with wood, try rural crafts and outdoor cooking in a relaxing woodland environment.

A typical session might include whittling, felting, making bespoke greenwood furniture like stools, garden features such as bird feeders, willow weaving or cooking lunch over an open fire. There is always a choice of activities to do either independently or with carer.

A typical session will usually start our morning with tea/coffee, biscuits and cake, chatting about anything and everything. There are many projects we work on, i.e. carving stools, willow weaving, whittling, making bird feeders, planting or just going for a little walk.

Holton Lee has many facilities such as a pottery studio, a large veg and flower cutting garden as well as many nature trails that are easily accessible. We usually cook a thing or two for lunch over the campfire. This depends on the season but we do love soups and stews! You can also bring a packed lunch. If we don’t finish our project on the day, we just carry on next time – there is no pressure or obligation to finish at a set time.

If you would like to join our lovely group, book a ticket or get in touch. We would love to meet you!

Our aim is to strengthen and boost everybody’s self esteem and spark passion for new and existing skills in a safe and relaxed environment.

All our activities are designed to give a sense of achievement to all, regardless of ability. Something that is particularly important for people living with dementia. The carers, who may feel isolated and lonely, also have the opportunity to gain from the activities.

At Greenwood Club we encourage every participant to believe in themselves, reconnect with nature and rediscover their abilities.

Carers can be reassured that the club will accept their loved ones, no matter of mood or conversation type.

What will members gain?

Many of our Greenwood Club members have formed new friendships and support networks. As a group we have set up small projects like dementia friendly pop up cafes, market stalls at community fairs and other social events to invite friends and families. We aim to create positive memories with their loved ones.

“Another vital element is the community that has been forged by us all
working and having a laugh together on a weekly basis. We now have a strong network and are all looking out for each other.”

Sue
Carer

“At Greenwood Club we can be ourselves, support each other and forget about the daily challenges. We just have a laugh and enjoy ourselves.”

Elaine
Carer

“The obvious benefits are those of being in the outdoors, being in nature and having the opportunity to learn new skills which are often unusual and ones that we never would have thought of learning.”

Sue
Carer

What others say about GWC:

It makes me feel human and I feel like anything is possible!

A person living with dementia

My partner can go to the woods and handle tools or potter around doing things in a safe, non threatening environment which makes him feel useful and valued again and I can happily leave him to do that without the need to be constantly vigilant in case he touches or moves things he shouldn’t or that he isn’t wandering off. So it is a win-win for both of us.

Carer

I like being outside with lovely people.

A person living with dementia

Get in touch:

Our key aim here at Dorset Forest School is for all children in Dorset to access Forest School, which is why we are passionate about training others. There are a number of options for how we can take you through training, some of which are subsidised.

You first need to decide which training is most appropriate for you: Please contact Maddy using the link below or complete our contact form to explore your options.