Outdoor learning is all about getting outdoors, getting a bit muddy and having fun! In south east Wales we have access to some great wild and wooded spaces; they photo of camp fireprovide fantastic spaces to create memories, new experiences and are fun spaces to learn and grow.

At an outdoor learning experience day your class or group can do lots of things. You could: build a den, make mud monsters, create land art, forage and make nettle tea, hunt for bugs, and use a fire steel, build a fire or whittle sticks to toast marshmallows and make hot chocolate.

If you are one of the lucky winners you will also receive a 25% discount off a second session.

To win a Western Power Distribution Outdoor Learning Experience Day for your class or group answer the following question: What stinging plant can you use to make tea?

Please enter the competition via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and don’t forget to put ‘WPD Outdoor Learning Competition’ in the subject box. The closing date for the competition is Sunday 8th March 2015.

 


Terms & Conditions to consider before applying:

This is available for schools (primary & secondary) and community groups in the following areas: RCT, Cardiff, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan. Minimum age is 7 years old.

All sessions must be booked in with the instructor by 30/4/15 - the date will depend on their availability and it must take place before the end of September 2015.

You agree to photos of the session being taken for promotional media purposes by Western Power Distribution and Stephanie Thompson.

There are 10 experience days available, only one per group.

Group sizes are limited and additional support is required, this is to be provided by the school or community group. The instructor will advise you on the venue, the group size and ratios which will depend on your group’s needs. Activities can be tailored to the age and ability of the group.

Each group will need to provide their own transport to and from the venue. Food is not included.

If you do not have a suitable space then a venue in south east Wales can be arranged by the instructor.

Accessibility - sessions may take place in a woodland setting, access is via uneven terrain, and activities involve standing, kneeling, lifting and using hand tools. Please consider if you think these activities will be accessible for your groups.

The 25% discount voucher is non transferrable to another school or group and it must be used & paid for by 31st March 2016

All sessions are risk assessed, insured and carried out by a qualified Forest School Leader & bushcraft instructor who has an enhanced criminal records check.

With two years ahead of us in the project, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate all of our achievements with a New Year New You Healthy Change event at the New Year New You event photo - in Cardiff Story MuseumCardiff Story Museum. This FREE community event took place on Saturday 24th January 10:00-15:00, and was attended by a little over 100 community members, many of whom were unaware of the Co-Creating Healthy Change (CCHC) project beforehand, and not to mention all of the children that came and participated in the face painting/healthy eating activities! It was a fabulous occasion for all the family.

People were able to participate in games organised by the Alzheimer’s Society that keep the mind active, the Exercise Referral Group were also present undertaking blood pressure checks, and community members were able to find out about ‘Dry January’ and how to enjoy alcohol safely through information provided by the Health Board. There were also arts and crafts and fruit kebab-making activities for the children hosted by Gingerbread as a fun way to introduce a broader, healthier diet and if that wasn’t exciting enough 32 people got to enjoy a FREE massage treatment or complimentary eyebrow threading after giving their views on health and well-being services in Cardiff and the Vale.

The Co-Creating Healthy Change project, which was launched by Mark Drakeford AM in 2013, is a four-year Big Lottery funded health and well-being project that aims to give communities a voice on the services they use. The project is an exciting collaboration between ten partners that brings together their diverse skills, experience and remits to develop, and deliver, a multitude of forums, events, training sessions and activities, enhancing the community voice in shaping health and well-being service delivery. The portfolio reaches out to a wide range of people, from those living with dementia or a learning disability to single parents to young people who are not in education, employment or training – all of whom deserve to have a voice and be involved in planning the services they rely on and use.  

Over the lifetime of the portfolio, partners will each be running a project focusing on a particular demographic of the Cardiff and Vale population:

  • Displaced People In Action – Refugee and Asylum Seekers
  • Action in Caerau and Ely – Geographic Community of Ely and Caerau
  • Cardiff and Vale Action for Mental Health – Mental Health Service Users
  • Hafal – Mental Health Carers
  • Alzheimer’s Society – Dementia and Carers
  • Gingerbread – Lone Parent Families
  • Media Academy Cardiff – NEET Young People
  • Cardiff Third Sector Council – Long Term Conditions
  • Diverse Cymru – Seldom Heard Voices (BME, Carers, Disabled, Older people, Transgender)
  • Cardiff People First and Vale People First – Learning Disabilities

On Saturday, all ten projects had a stall representing their work so far. Through our promotion and vibrant activity on the day we believe we were able to achieve our objective of raising greater awareness of CCHC within the community and enjoying a fun day celebrating our successes. We would like to think that our community project is becoming more recognised as a viable pathway for engagement on health and well-being related matters by both community members and service providers and that this will grow through our future activity.

We would like to thank our external partners that were represented on the day (University Health Board, Social Services, National Assembly, Exercise Referral and Diabetes UK), their contributions were much appreciated and reinforced the spirit of gaining influence through collaborative working. Half of our work is to empower and upskill Service Users to have a voice, the other half is forging relationships with Service Providers, shifting attitudes and encouraging a Co-productive approach amongst services where such a level of partnership working may not yet be fully adopted.

The feedback from this day has been fantastic across the board, including a message from a couple which read:

“Thank you so much for the above event. I am a carer for my husband who has Dementia and we found the Alzheimer's and Carers stands extremely useful. Everyone involved was welcoming and helpful. The massages were wonderful - my husband was a new man after his pampering.

Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved.”

Sheila Hendrickson-Brown of Cardiff Third Sector Council, which hosts the project, said ‘We are building stronger relationships with important health service providers in Cardiff and the Vale - including the University Health Board and the Councils in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. In these hard times, these services want the community to be more involved in helping them to plan our health and care services. Co-creating Healthy Change offers an opportunity for the public to have a voice in improving their health and getting the best out of these services.’

We've received this request...

"I am a second year Social Work Student currently on placement with ‘Ruok?’, a Young Person’s Substance Misuse Service in Brighton and Hove. I have joined this team during the analysis and development of their processes, and I have been assigned the task of researching evaluation, including service user involvement, and wondered whether you would be able to assist me with this.

"I am contacting other agencies in the UK who provide a similar service to Ruok and am asking, if possible, for any evaluation/service user evaluation materials that you may use in order to ensure that Ruok are providing the best service to young people and their families whose lives are effected by drugs and alcohol."

If you can help, please contact Amy Mason, Student Social Worker (Substance Misuse) at Ru-ok? Young Person's Substance Misuse Services by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A third sector representative is needed to sit on the new All Wales Life Science Skills Group which meets monthly at the Life Science Hub in Cardiff Bay. The group has been recognised by the Welsh Government for its proposed work on the skills agenda and which also aims to represent the needs of the growing voluntary sector in this arena.  

If you would like to see a copy of the group's draft Terms of Reference, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The TSPC working group, which includes a number of network representatives, WCVA staff and WG officials from the Third Sector Unit, met in January.

Items discussed were :

  • WG Volunteering policy: wording will be finalised by end of January; revised policy will be published as soon as possible and “launched” at a series of events between publication and early June.
  • A small TSPC communications task and finish group will meet to look at how information about TSPC can be made more widely available.
  • Next TSPC meeting: date will be notified by mid-February; the meeting is likely to take place late May avoiding half term. Agenda: Local Government white paper (consultation responses); Joint proposals for a Programme for Action; Feedback from Ministerial Meetings; Volunteering Policy. The formal TSPC meeting may possibly be preceded (on the day) by informal discussions between a range of senior officials from several WG departments and network representatives. The Public Services Minister will be invited to attend.     
  • The near-final draft of the 3rd Sector proposals for a joint Programme for Action was discussed. WG officials will now match this paper to the WG priorities and draft a paper on shared priorities for discussion at the next meeting of the TSPC Working Group.
  • In the light of his impending retirement, the Working Group paid tribute to the immense contribution made by Phil Jarrold to progressing the relationship between Welsh Government and the Sector and in particular the work of the TSPC during his many years at WCVA.  The Working Group also thanked Suzanne Chisholm who would be completing her secondment at WCVA shortly for her work on revitalising TSPC/Programme for Action.  

WCVA will make this information available on its website and via Network Wales.