Woodland Resilience Immersions

Why woodland resilience for wellbeing?

Healthcare has been an area of focus for us at Hazel Hill Wood for 2-3 years. Almost daily we hear news about rising patient demands and shrinking NHS resources, high levels of attrition and this puts many health professionals at risk of depletion or burnout.

We’ve developed Woodland Resilience Immersions for healthcare professionals in different sectors to gain new insights and skills, to raise their personal and team resilience and wellbeing. Our partner in this work is Westminster Centre for Resilience (Professor David Peters), who brings both in-depth knowledge of the healthcare sector as well as robust evidence-based evaluation and measurement of wellbeing.

What can you expect?

We provide an array of new, practical resilience skills which you can use and share with colleagues, even when time is very short; a sense of renewal and resourcing; fresh insights and approaches into systemic issues of stress and burnout for your team and the wiser organisation. Whilst every immersion is tailored to suit the particular healthcare client, you can read more about programmes to date here:

Alan Heek’s article – ‘Learning super resilience from nature: systemic responses to systemic overload’ (Journal of holistic healthcare, Volume 16, Issue 1 Spring 2019) provides more background to this work and what you can expect from a Woodland Resilience immersion event at Hazel Hill Wood.

Here’s what hospital doctors said about their experience of woodland resilience immersions in 2018:

“I’m taking away recharge, vulnerability, warmth and connection and sharing. I’ve found my inspiration again, I hope to come back again.”

“This was the best mental spa I’ve ever been to.”

“The idea of creating an upward spiral in the team I work with by showing them appreciation is really exciting and doable.”

The credentials for Nature Immersion

However inspired you may be about a Woodland Immersion, there’s probably a counterweight somewhere in your organisation, who asks sceptically, “So you seriously want to spend two days and money from my budget to sit in a wood, round a campfire?” Read more here about what research shows about nature benefits. Our pilots to date have been formally evaluated by Westminster Centre for Resilience, and you can read a summary report here.

How much will it cost?

Costs depend on format and size of group, but are typically £250 per person for a 28-hour residential event (prices can sometimes be lower where grant funding permits). This includes course facilitation, materials, accommodation in one of our rustic eco-buildings at Hazel Hill Wood and delicious vegetarian food. We can explore a range of payment methods, including joint funding bids.

Woodland Resilience Immersions in 2019

We will be running half a dozen pilot events this year, some are already advertised and you can book on, some organisation-specific, others still in development:

23rd – 24th April 2020 (PROVISIONAL DATE TBC)

  • We’d like to hear from you if you’re a junior doctor, registrar or consultant working with junior docs interested in a similar event.
  • Tailored event for your organisation: we’re happy to co-design an event for a team or organisation which could follow broadly the same 28-hour residential format of other events, but we can also offer one-day, non-residential programmes, and can add elements of team building or strategy review if required.
  • Other health sectors: we are still at an early, exploratory stage with this work and are keen to run pilot programmes with other professionals, specialties or sectors within the overall health sector. We already have some experience of working with hospices and private care provision as well as the sectors mentioned below.

Previous Woodland resilience events:

Junior doctors from a London teaching hospital (April 2019):this is continuation of our 2018 partnership with a leading teaching hospital in London bringing their recent intake of junior doctors.NB; we’d like to hear from you if you’re a junior doctor, registrar or consultant working with junior docs interested in a similar event. You can find out more about our work with junior docs here.
GP’s open event – June 10-11, 2019 – An open 28-hour residential immersion for GP’s, click here
Mental health practitioners – September 25-26, 2019– An open 28-hour residential immersion for professionals in mental health. Find out more here if you’re a psychologist, psychiatrist, paediatrician, teacher, social worker etc.

Related blogs:

Alan’s ‘Your Brain on Nature’ piece

Do Hospital Dr’s have emotions

Front-line extreme: natural resilience for junior hospital doctors

Alan’s Article: ‘Learning super resilience from nature: systemic responses to systemic overload’