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NOMS Wildlife Award for EcoDysgu

Congratulations to EcoDysgu-EcoLearn in Tondu, Bridgend for winning the Community & Outreach Project Category 2011 NOMS (National Offender Management Service) Wildlife Award. They were also judged to be highly commended for the overall national award.

EcoDysgu, established in 2002, is a 42 acre education centre delivering the ‘Learning to Heal – Healing to Learn’ (L2H-H2L) model of education.  Having worked with over 6,000 service users, their results have been called ‘profound’ by police officers. Teachers, parents and the participants themselves,  have confirmed that workshop experiences at EcoDysgu have changed their lives long term.  The programmes at EcoDysgu are run for all ages, participants learn a new skill such as woodcarving, furniture making, gardening, woodland work, willow weaving and much more.  Each participant is also offered a session of complementary therapies such as Indian Head Massage, Reiki or Hands On Healing.  Within a beautiful natural environment the L2H-H2L process address’s our human-ness and real needs, it offers an holistic approach to our lives and well-being, it encourages active participation and engagement in the changes our society is desperate for.

The EcoDysgu community project has worked with schools, Women’s Aid, drug & alcohol groups, pupil referral units, youth offending teams, youth services, prison and probation service as well as other community groups and hundreds of volunteers.  The success of their work has been valued not only by many participants but also by the winning of numerous awards.

Mark Woolcock, Placement Officer with Wales Probation Trust has been working with the staff at EcoDysgu for the past 3 years, building a programme of benefit for their Community Payback team.

In turn the groups and individuals serving community hours have supported the project in maintaining its gardens and woodland, creating wildlife habitat, improving public access and generally supporting its need to achieve future sustainability.  The partnership is ongoing and continually developing to build on its success. In addition many historic buildings on site need renovation and a collaborative approach to this is now being explored.