Remembering Ann Stevens

On 23 November, Nature Nurture lost a very dear friend.  Ann Stevens worked with us as a volunteer for four years. She was a retired primary school teacher and on the first day we met we could see that she was a hugely gifted practitioner.  Ann gave her time freely and worked with all our groups at various times over the four years.  She had a remarkable ability to see what a child needed and to respond with warmth, patience and love.

She had enormous energy and enthusiasm, and this was contagious. She loved to run about in the woods with the children and was always playful and full of fun. She was so quick to smile and laugh.  Ann was also an earnest student and was hungry to learn about the approaches and principles of Nature Nurture. She attended every training session we held for the team over those four years and read avidly in between.  She had a deep connection to, and love for, nature.  She loved to walk with her dear husband Dick and was so happy to have her lovely cottage in Dunkeld where she could retreat.

When I am asked “what do you mean by ‘nurture’” I always think of Ann. She had such a big heart and cared most dearly for every child with whom she worked.  She also cared for every adult in our team, and always had the right word, smile or a hug when we needed it.  Ann and I shared our pride of being grandmothers and frequently exchanged stories and pictures of our own precious children.

She gave out so much love to everyone she met and in turn was greatly loved by all the children and adults in Nature Nurture. It was with a broken heart that I took her husband’s message that she had lost her courageous battle with cancer. I was grateful to hear that she spent her last hours pain free and with her children and Dick close by her.

In her last few days, Ann spoke to Dick of her love for Nature Nurture and they both agreed that they would like to make a donation to our charity. On Monday Dick came to see us and presented us with a very generous donation.  We will use this money in a way that Ann would have wished and spend it on starting a new under 5’s Nature Nurture group in the Seaton area of Aberdeen.  We will call this project ‘Ann’s Group’. These pictures give a glimpse into Ann’s boundless love for Nature, Nurture and Play.  She will be sorely missed by us all.

 

 

Welcome to the new Nature Nurture Website

Greetings to you all and welcome to the new Nature Nurture website. This project has been several months in the making and we are so happy to finally reveal it to you all. The site has been set up as a platform through which people can learn about the Nature Nurture Project and its current ventures. In addition to this, we would like the site to be a dynamic space, regularly updated with our Nature Nurture Blog. This tool will be used to share our knowledge and experience of working with the Nature Nurture approach to promote resilience in vulnerable children. It will also be a space to share the latest research in resilience, the benefits of outdoor play, self regulation, nurturing environments etc., as well as provide useful resources for adopting and implementing child-centred practice and outdoor play.

The main page of the Nature Nurture website welcomes you with a brief summary of the project and its aims. From here you are able to access the ‘What We Do’ page, which goes into greater detail about the ‘Nature Nurture Approach’. Further down the main page of the site, you will see that it is divided into 5 sections we like to call ‘Green Areas’. These areas allow you to navigate deeper into the site to learn more about who we work with as an organisation, the impact that Nature Nurture has had on those who have attended the programme, the ways in which you can volunteer with the project, our continued fund raising to ensure the projects long term future and the different training packages we provide.

At the top of the site is a navigation bar which will allow you to jump to additional pages such as ‘Who We Are’, ‘Resources’, ‘Blog’ and finally our ‘Contact’ page. Over the coming weeks and months, more content will be added to the Resources and Blog, with the eventual aim of developing a dynamic library of relevant content which will be widely applicable to anyone working in early years and/or outdoor therapeutic ventures.

This blog post marks the first of many entries to come and we hope you will check back regularly to keep up to date.

Luke Harrison