TPS Connects complete Bushcraft & Life Coaching programme
TPS Connects Members have just completed a Bushcraft & Life Coaching 8-week programme facilitated by an experienced Buschcraft instructor, Tom.
The programme took place across various parks around Glasgow and taught the group many skills such as how to safely set a fire (and clear up after it), how to put up a shelter just using tarpaulins, how to make different food and drinks on an open fire, how to do wood carvings, make tools, look after tools and make fullest use of the natural environment as a backdrop for wellbeing sessions.
On the final week, all staff were invited to come along to the session were the members demonstrated the skills they’ve learned and share their experiences, as well as make drinks and food for everyone.
Arriving at Pollock Park, the sun was shining and the members got to work right away by chopping wood, setting the fire pit, making tools and preparing ingredients for lunch. It was clear to see the team work involved as the members confidentially played a part while looking out for each other. In a short space of time, there was a pile of logs and the fire started. Everyone was handed a “Cowboy Coffee” as the soup began to boil above the fire.
TPS Connects is a community of people that have used Turning Point Scotland’s services. It was set up to give people a chance to socialise, actively participate in planning activities and events, as well as to have their voice heard. Turning Point Scotland’s Communications and Marketing Officer Jade was there and spoke to the members about their experience with TPS Connects. The members said:
“TPS Connects has given me the opportunity to integrate into a community. This gives me a sense of purpose and to meet new friends who have been through the same experiences. I am in recovery and my kids are proud!”
“I love it! Once I came, that was it, life changed. You are made to feel welcome and it’s a community, we are family and look out for each other.”
“I have been through volunteer training and now I have responsibilities. I can share what I have been through and where I am to help others.”
“I have been here for 4 years now. I have had so much self-development and the foundations for a new life.”
After an honest discussion about the services provided by Turning Point Scotland and TPS Connects, the members told Jade about their experience with the Bushcraft and Life Coaching Programme. They said:
“There is a sense of belonging here. It rained last week but everyone chipped in and we did it. It’s a shame it’s the last week.”
“This series has let us get out and learn skills like how to make a fire, cook outside, how to put shelter up based on direction of the rain and chopping wood is good exercise!”
“I can now take my son out and do this with him. It will be really special and good for bonding.”
“I love the outdoors and fresh air it is good for mental health. The food from the open fire is amazing.”
“This has been brilliant and something we can do ourselves now. We all sit round the fire and talk. Everyone is open and non-judgemental. There is nothing you can’t talk about it.”
While these conversations happened, sausages and steak were made on the fire alongside the pot of vegetable soup. Vegetables and bacon were cooked on kebab style sticks and fresh bread was made in a Dutch oven. Everyone enjoyed the food and conversation while the members ensured wood and tools were always available, the fire kept going and the area was safe and tidy.
The programme instructor Tom said, “I can see such a difference in everyone since week 1. I really enjoy how they all look after each other and are a unit. It’s encouraging. They have been pushed out of their comfort zone but the important thing is how they changed the environment from a hostile environment to a comfortable one and that can be used in all areas of life; changing a bad environment to a good one. This gives them a sense of achievement and ‘I can do this’ feeling. It teaches resilience.
It has been an absolute treat for me as the members have shared their journeys and accomplished so much to be proud of. This has been meaningful time together and a reminder to reset and look after your mental health.”
Well done to Aileen, Inclusion and access co-ordinator and all the members of TPS Connects for participating and providing a great day for staff. You can watch a short film on the story of TPS connects here