Wild things! seeks to overcome health and wellbeing challenges as well as educational, social or economic disadvantages through contact with the natural world as well as carrying out essential conservation work UK wide.
It offers environmental education programmes, training the trainer courses and bespoke holiday programmes. These have evolved over the past 14 years through understanding and responding to the needs of clients, the environmental education sector and local communities.
In that time Wild Things! has benefited more than 12,000 children, disadvantaged young people and vulnerable adults, and brought in over £2 million of social enterprise and grant income to the region.
This new role will support and enable existing staff to focus on developing it’s proven programmes which respond to the demand to provide increased opportunities for those who are struggling with a wide variety of challenges in their lives to boost their resilience, enhance their educational attainment and enable them to understand lifestyle choices which will benefit them in the future.
Fiona Robb, HIE’s head of strengthening communities in Moray, said: “Social enterprises make a huge contribution to tackling some of the social and environmental challenges facing communities across Scotland. Wild Things! is an excellent example of this, drawing on the tremendous natural environment in Moray to improve the health and wellbeing of its clients.
“The organisation has clear potential for further growth and this project supports the opportunity for new and exciting developments. I’m delighted that we are able to support it.”
Jennie Martin, executive director of Wild things! said: “We are just over joyed to have this endorsement as well as investment from HIE. The essential work we do at Wild things! is needed more now than ever as we see more people suffering from mental health issues in the UK than have ever been recorded, obesity levels are at their highest in Scotland and the environment is losing it’s biodiversity at a frightening rate. This support from HIE will help us take the work we do forward exponentially and we are all at Wild things! thrilled to be rolling up our sleeves and getting ready to take these exciting next steps!”