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Forest leaders brave the elements to raise £2,200 to support Reminiscence Learning

Otterhead Forest School leader Peter Holmes has raised £2,200 to support a forest school project with Reminiscence Learning.

He had originally set out to raise £600 by camping out in all winds and weathers for one week as his old-fashioned alter ego ‘Tarquin Montgomery’.

Tarquin’s Big Camp Out saw Peter and friend Harvey cooking on a campfire, sleeping in hammocks and tackling the worst of the December weather.

Peter said: “With the current pandemic putting pressure on all aspects of society, I knew that charities were finding 2020 particularly hard and having recently worked alongside Reminiscence Learning, I wanted to do something to help.

“I have worked as a forest school leader at Otterhead Forest school for 11 years and have recently had the privilege to work alongside people with dementia and their carers in our beautiful woodland setting.”

The pair continued to work as forest school leaders throughout the challenge and at one point had to deal with night-time temperatures of -3 degrees!

“The week also brought fog, rain, and wind but also some sunshine and some amazing clear nights where we could see every star in the sky including the Milky Way. We also heard tawny, barn and little owls as well as foxes and other noises that will remain a mystery!

“We have been blown away by the generosity of people who donated to our Virgin page and couldn’t believe we eventually raised over £2,200, especially as our original target was £600.

“It just goes to show that even in a terrible year when people have had the hardest of times, people are still willing to show some kindness and support a great cause. We now have enough money to run Forest School sessions alongside Reminiscence Learning until Easter and this is vital for the people who come as they have found Forest School provides a calm and friendly space where people can feel purposeful, safe, and less isolated in these challenging times.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation search to Tarquin’s Big Camp Out can do so on Virgin Giving at Virgin Money Giving | Tarquins camp squad.

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