Debs McCahon was joined by Trustees Tom Brooks and Jack Brown for the latest Supporters Update. A recording can be found below.
During the update the trio shared the excellent news that Woodcraft Folk centres are busier than ever! Currently 2023 bookings are already higher than the total number of 2022 bookings. The introduction of new Activity staff, Adventures Away from Home funding and new partnerships have helped to fill beds. We have been especially pleased to see occupancy levels increase at Height Gate, which hosted the recent Camps for All event.
Other centre news included the completion of renovation works at Cudham, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. The renovation has increased the number of beds, but also given the team an opportunity to introduce some energy saving measures. A big thank you to all the volunteers who supported the activity, especially Dick, Kevin, John and Ros.
Tom also shared news from the Membership Team who have been supporting new groups to open in Hastings, Chesterfield, York, Plymouth, Leeds, Devon, Manchester, Sheffield and London. The team are expecting groups to open shortly in Argyll, Lochwinnoch, Lewes and Machynlleth as local community activity increases after COVID disruptions. With all these new groups, the Membership team have also resumed face to face training, with dates in the diary for Bristol, Manchester, London and a dedicated young leader training event at Lockerbrook. See the online calendar for details.
Debs shared that funds raised following the December Supporters Update, as part of the Christmas Challenge, had helped reduce the financial barriers of attending Venturer Camp for young people and volunteers. Debs also reported that Woodcraft Folk had benefited from new funding to extend the Scottish Officer and Green Mentor roles. Other new funding activity since the February update included:
- Bromley Holiday Activity & Food programme
- Adventures Away from Home from DCMS and UK Youth
- Think NPC from BBC Children in Need
Tom shared the latest from Venturer Camp, which is taking place at Venturer Camp 5th-12th August. There are currently nearly 300 Venturers booked and 150 volunteers – making the camp larger than the event hosted in 2019! The camp will have a mythology theme and will host guest speakers from Greenham Women, Friends of the Lower Wye, Green Party, Peace Pledge Union, Stop Funding Hate, Extinction Rebellion, Forestry England and more! To support the financial viability of the event a JustGiving campaign has been launched, because like most things that camp is experiencing increasing prices for food and fuel. If you can help, the team would really appreciate it.
Jack shared news about Camp100, Woodcraft Folk centenary camp to be held at Kelmarsh Hall 27th July – 6th August 2025. As we prepare for camp we are encouraging young members and groups to participate in a ‘One hundred 100s’ – a task or challenge to mark Woodcraft Folk’s centenary – such as create 100 peace cranes, play 100 games, walk 100 miles! For all Camp100 news follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @Camp100WCF.