Saving the environment, and saving lives

Dean experienced debilitating life events throughout his childhood that impacted negatively on his later life; his mental and physical health and his relationships, going as far as being involved in a court case over contact with his son. He also experienced a bout of extreme anxiety and depression which prevented him from leaving the house for many years and saw him repeatedly try to take his own life, but thanks to Tir Coed’s VINE project, he felt ready to engage in a Tir Coed training course.

A year on and Dean has successfully completed two Tir Coed three month Training Courses and has achieved Level one accreditation for Sustainable Woodland Management and level two Practical Conservation. He has participated in and increasingly adopted a supportive role within numerous special activity days and community open days.

He is also being trained to become a support worker for Tir Coed and is being supported to develop a woodland enterprise with three other Tir Coed participants. Dean has completely come out of his shell and shown himself to be 100% reliable despite his difficult life circumstances, and his life has been transformed thanks to the project.

“It has helped me over come certain personal issues. I was very fortunate to have been able to attend the Tir Coed course and it has benefited me greatly, for a very long time I have suffered from multiple mental health problems and physical issues. Since I have been attending the sessions I have greatly improved my mental and physical state as well as getting a great education.

“I think that what Tir Coed is doing for people like me as well as the general public in good health is fantastic! Every day I am learning more and more about wild life and woodland management, over the last year I have found myself getting more involved with volunteering as my health is improving.”

Since taking part in the project, Dean has successfully completed a basic counselling course for non-professionals and is now setting up his own micro-business. He is getting occasional work from Tir Coed progressing through its model as a mentor and support worker and has become a trustee a local nature reserve and a member of a community woodland group and is now an active member of his community.

Tir Coed received £249,545 through People and Places in 2013 to work with disadvantaged people, encouraging a wide section of the community and vulnerable groups to value the countryside and natural environment through work-based training and volunteering opportunities. For more information about Tir Coed visit their website by clicking here, and for more information about the People and Places programme, please click here.

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