Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent’s best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland where visitors can see bears, wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more.
On 16th October 2019, a group of young people took part in a Wildwood adventure. The aim of the day was to increase confidence as a group, increase social skills and improve their effective communication skills. It was also to allow an insight into a working animal park for those who wanted to work with animals.
The participants also took part in a super challenge run by the Wildwood Education Team. This involved working in teams to identify animal artefacts, which not only enabled them to learn many new and interesting facts about animals but also allowed them another opportunity to compete in teams. This created a great sense of fun which encouraged involvement from even the quieter ones within the group.
At the end of the day the young people said they had learned a lot about animals, their behaviour and how to care for them. Plus they had really enjoyed the social aspect of the day and working as a team. We talked about how the skills they had learned from the day could be transferred into the workplace:
- Communication skills
- Effective teamwork
- Social skills
This activity was a great way of practically demonstrating how effective communication is vital, not only within the workplace but in any social situation where you need to work as a team. Increasing this group’s social skills and experiences will only expand their employability opportunities.
“Really great day, enjoyed working as a team and learning new facts about animals”
“I really enjoyed the day it was great to meet a new group of young people, I didn’t know what to expect but I learnt a lot and worked great in a new team”
“I had such a good day, sometimes its great to be part of team work in action”
“It was great to be with people who were nice and welcomed me in the group.”
“It was lovely to see the group working together on challenges and great to take them into a different environment. This visit motivated this group greatly, most were nervous about the day but they ended up bonding as a team and having fun at the same time. Improving social skills is a big progression for some of this particular cohort, It was great to see even the most anxious members of the group participating and proving to themselves they could work well with others.”