Instinctively Wild
Team building games

About us

Instinctively Wild began life in 2008 as Borders Environmental Education Services (BEES). Since then, we have grown, and now deliver projects in outdoor learning, health and team-building and for a wide range of clients, including the NHS, local authorities, and third sector organisations including the Social Enterprise Academy, Thistle Foundation and Interest Link. We also run corporate training events for the private and public sector.

Instinctively Wild is supported by a group of committed trustees and dedicated volunteers. Our Volunteer Development Programme is a core element of our ethos and we provide training for Forest School Level 2 & 3. Instinctively Wild was shortlisted for the ‘Employer of the Year’ category in the Scottish Borders Business Excellence Awards 2014. In the later part of 2015, Instinctively Wild changed into a Community Interest Company, run by one existing and three new Directors. See below to read their journeys.

Pete Carthy, Founding Director

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/peter-carthy-4669a644

PetePete Carthy grew up in the countryside near Blackpool and describes himself as “the champion tree-climber in the local area”. He worked for many years as a primary school teacher, eventually realising that a CPD training course in Forest Schools meant that he could combine his teaching skills with his love of nature and the outdoors.

While still teaching at Niddrie Mill Primary School, he began running Forest School and eco-schools projects. He also set up a link with Ukuruni Primary School in Kenya, focusing on curriculum development and skills around gardening, growing food, and the use of energy.

Eventually, he decided that to realise the projects he was passionate about, he would need to set up an environmental charity. With grant support from Scotland UnLtd, Borders Environmental Education Services (BEES) became reality in 2008. Since then it has changed name and more recently changed legal structure. “We are evolving all the time,” says Pete.

Pete is inspired by the work and words of John Muir, especially:

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

In addition to qualifications in Bushcraft and Forest Schools, he has a BSc in Geology from Sheffield University and a PGCE from Bradford College.

 

Graeme Drever, Director

Graeme was brought up in the Scottish Borders and has always enjoyed “The Great Outdoors”. He was a Patrol Leader in the Scouts, enjoys fishing and took part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

Graeme visits Australia/New Zealand every year, where outdoor activities and extreme sports are a way of life and recently did the tree top challenge in Australia.

While doing a degree in computing studies Graeme realised that his main interest was in people and volunteered for Instinctively Wild in 2013. He started level two Forest School and is looking forward to starting his level three course in the latter part of 2017.

Graeme recently became a Director and is enjoying the diversity of the work. “Working together in natural surroundings makes social interactions much easier and its great to see people get a sense of achievement and a real positive experience.

“Nature has a way of leveling the playing field so no matter what social background you come from everyone is on the same level.”

Graeme recommends that people volunteer for Instinctively Wild as it has greatly expanded his horizons.

 

Daru McAleese, Director

Daru - Publicity Shot3https://uk.linkedin.com/in/daru-mcaleece-6b7a9019

Daru joined Instinctively Wild in 2010 when seeking a way to share his knowledge about nature and, in so doing, “hopefully helping to play my own small part in turning the tide of our collective disconnect from nature.”

“I heard about Forest Schools… and wondered if this would be a good approach for me to follow”. However, until seeing an advertisement for Instinctively Wild, Daru did not know how to go about funding Forest School training.

Through the BEES – Volunteer Development Programme, Daru received the full complement of training which included Forest School Level 2  and 3. Daru has used this training on projects varying from children’s activity weeks to eco-therapy with New Horizons and the NHS.

For Daru, “There is no way that I could be doing the work I am doing now without having completed the Forest School Level 2 and 3 training.”

Off-project, Daru has become an integral part of Instinctively Wild. In 2011 Daru successfully applied for a Vodafone World of Difference Grant which he used to conduct research used to secure future funds. Daru was also our Volunteer Coordinator from 2013 to 2015.

“There are so many moments of meaning for me: promoting outdoor learning, helping develop autonomous individuals, offering positive experiences to communities… I feel I cannot describe or grasp them all.” Daru is a fully trained Level 3 Forest School Leader, visual artist and professional storyteller. He is registered with the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Professional Directory of storytellers, and performs across the UK in many settings for children, families, young people and adults. He also has almost 20 years’ experience in most areas of social care, including autism, learning disabilities, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction issues, young people and homelessness.

 

Helen Johnston, Director

Photo of Helen JohnstonHelen has recently joined Instinctively Wild as a Director.

When not volunteering outdoors, hauling tarpaulins, setting fires and toasting marshmallows with folk of all ages, Helen works on the procurement side of Instinctively Wild. With a background in public-sector and charity media and communications, she is also building on the organisation’s communications and outreach.

“Being outdoors and connecting with the environment have always helped me gain strength and confidence just when I’ve needed it the most. So often those who stand to benefit the most from getting outdoors have the fewest opportunities to do so. I’ve seen that Instinctively Wild makes a real difference to people’s lives.”

Helen has spent several years volunteering for and working alongside conservation organisations, including at events and helping to run groups.

“I’m proud that we are a social enterprise, and to work alongside my experienced colleagues and our wonderful volunteers. My vision is for Instinctively Wild to grow year on year. In turn this means our social aims and impact become ever more effective.”

 

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Community Interest Company (CIC) Company Registration no. 514321 Registered in Scotland