Cup-O-T Woodland for therapy

by Catherine Gray in Wymondham, Norfolk, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th February 2022 we successfully raised £6,190 with 96 supporters in 42 days

Our aim is to rent a woodland in Norfolk to run nature & bushcraft mental health occupational therapy sessions for young people & families

by Catherine Gray in Wymondham, Norfolk, United Kingdom


Cup-O-T Woodland for Therapy

Cup-O-T is a social enterprise that wants to make therapy and mental health support accessible in Norfolk. 

Our goal

Rent a small woodland to enable us to provide outdoor therapy sessions, focusing on allowing young people and families to develop skills, overcome difficulties and achieve things they may not believe possible, without the constraints of formal consultancy rooms – because they can be a bit stuffy…

Nature Occupational Therapy sessions include activities such as:

  • Bushcraft - shelter building and fire lighting
  • Foraging
  • Camp fire cooking
  • Green woodwork skills
  • Woodland management
  • Play and games
  • Identification and research
  • Metal detecting
  • Nature crafts


The Plan

We have found a small (but perfectly formed!) woodland space to rent near Wymondham, Norfolk. This amazing space is accessible for everyone, has great transport links and would provide an excellent resource for our community. The rent to use this space 3 days a week for a year is approximately £4000, and in addition to that there will obviously be the associated fees and insurance costs that go along with the lease.  Alongside this there will be security costs and the ongoing management of the site to make sure that the habitat is looked after as it should be to ensure that it can be enjoyed by humans, animals and even the teeniest of bugs for years to come.  

With this Crowdfunder you can help make our dream become a reality!  The woodland would provide a unique and tranquil therapy space for our local community, for young people and families who would benefit from mental health therapy and support in a wild and beautiful space – a vast contrast to the sterile four walls of a clinic room!

Our aim is to raise the funds so that we can rent the woodland for at least a year and set up the bushcraft camp area so it is suitable for therapy sessions.

1640103025_woodland.jpg"I like being outside because it makes me happy and also it tires me out so I can sleep better and night" - Billy, aged 10

By supporting this project the impact it would have on young people and their families would be incredible.  Renting this woodland would not only give us a base and enable us to provide regular therapy sessions to the local community, but it also gives us a bigger scope for the doing part of occupational therapy - young people and families will be able to develop their skills in life, overcome difficulties and achieve things they dream to achieve. We will be able to deliver trauma informed services in a natural environment surrounded by big skies, trees and plenty of fresh air and break out of tiny clinic rooms which can sometimes be overwhelming in themselves.

"Being outside in the trees distracts me from problems and helps me to focus" - Pearl, aged 13


Our £10,000 Goal:

Our initial goal is £10,000 - this would provide the funds for:

  • Renting the woodland for a year and associated insurance and costs;
  • Build a sturdy weatherproof shelter;
  • Create a covered kitchen / food preparation area;
  • Build a log store and a firepit;
  • Purchase quality bushcraft and woodwork equipment for therapy sessions;
  • Purchase larger pieces of cut wood for therapy projects from local tree surgeons - our woodland space is young and the trees need to be protected and allowed to mature before felling is able to be done sustainably.

Stretch goal:

If we exceed the initial goal to rent and kit out the woodland for a year then we will:

  • Fund 20 young people to access a therapy programme;
  • Build an outdoor composting toilet;
  • Fund additional years of rent;
  • Pay towards the maintenance and upkeep of the woodland area.


What if we don't reach our £10,000 goal?

We have opted for a "keep-what-you-raise" Crowdfunder rather than an "all-or-nothing" Crowdfunder.  This way if we do not raise the £10,000 to rent the woodland in one go we can still start our work and keep fundraising.

About me and Cup-O-T

Cup-O-T: Wellness and Therapy Services was founded on 28th December 2017 by myself - Catherine Gray.  Launch day is our 4th Birthday!

I am an occupational therapist who loves being in nature - foraging, wild swimming, walking, bushcraft and camping. In 2021 I completed my IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate Training, and I'm working towards taking the assessment.

1640002633_cgray_fire.jpgOver the years I have been working in mental health NHS services, I have pined for working outdoors and getting out for tiny clinic rooms. Occupational Therapy is about doing, building skills, abilities and our sense of self. When I set up Cup-O-T I knew being outside was the right direction to go, both from from my own experience but also from the people I work with.

I have specialised in EMDR Therapy alongside occupational therapy and worked with people in specialist areas of: perinatal mental health, early intervention psychosis, complex trauma and attachment difficulties.

"Doing bushcraft to manage emotions is a very good idea, as speaking from personal experience, connecting with nature in some way can really help! Sometimes emotions are like nature and the weather, and are often as changeable, and learning to survive these natural things is a good way of processing emotions." -Oliver, aged 14

About Cup-O-T and our Therapy Van

Cup-O-T: Wellness and Therapy Services is a non-profit mental health organisation with the following aims:

  • To make mental health support accessible at an early stage.
  • To support young people to achieve their potential.
  • To make mental health support accessible in rural areas.  
  • To increase mental wellness in communities.

In 2018 we bought our Cup-O-T Therapy Van and by June 2019 we had converted it into our mobile therapy room and were holding appointments in the community, in rural spaces and running workshops and groups at festivals.

We hav1640002215_van_2020.jpge a full seating area and kitchen in there - designed and built by our young people and volunteers.

As the pandemic hit, we were able to continue our work, sometimes online but mainly out in nature.  The van was too small inside to social distance, so being out in woodlands and parks became our norm.  We developed our Get Out! book, ran family workshops and secured Lottery Funding to run our 5 week Level Up Outdoors programme.  We host these at sites and woodlands owned by other people who have been generous in sharing.  But the time has come for our own space with this long term lease!

So if you would like to be part of this new and exciting development in the history of Cup-O-T please consider contributing to our Crowdfunder. Together we can make a real difference.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£10 or more

10 of 100 claimed

£10 Reward - A5 Photography print of the woodland

We are lucky to know many fantastic photographers. Once the therapy site is set up, our photographer will head there on the most gorgeous day, and capture the beauty of our site. You will be sent an A5 photography print of our beautiful woodlands.

£30 or more

2 of 50 claimed

£30 Reward - Quarterly Seasonal Newsletter

With this reward you can follow our journey through the seasons of our first year. You will receive a quarterly newsletter and photograph of our woodland site. Be part of discovering the nature is holds and how it develops and changes through the seasons at the same time we do! You will receive 4 seasonal newsletters and photographs by post.

£75 or more

3 of 4 claimed

£75 Reward - Open Fire Cooking Session

Is there anything better than eating food that you've cooked over a roaring open fire in the middle of a woodland? We don't think so! Join us for a 2 hour cooking session, getting hands on with preparation, maintaining the fire, cooking and of course eating! (This reward is for 2 people - 1 must be over the age of 18)

£100 or more

1 of 4 claimed

£100 Reward - Greenwood Stool Making Workshop

A stool crafting workshop for 2! Join us in our woodland base for this 3 hour workshops and creating your own rustic stool to take away and enjoy for years to come. (Reward is for 2 people, 1 of which must be over 18 years old).

£40 or more

6 of 6 claimed

£40 Reward - Grand opening invitation!

You are invited to the grand opening of our therapy woodland space! We would love for you to join us for a small open event, a tour of the wood and site we have built. You will be welcomed with a camp fire drink and snacks. Each reward provides entrance to the open event for 2 adults and up to 2 children (under 18)

£50 or more

6 of 6 claimed

£50 Reward - Herbal Remedy Balm Workshop

Join us for a 2 hour herbology class making herbal remedy balms, infusions, decoctions and tinctures! (1 adult aged 18+)

£250 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£250 Reward - Half day bushcraft for 4

Join Catherine for a half day bushcraft experience for 4 people! Learn how to make and maintain fire, create firesticks and other small whittling projects, put up hamocks and tarps and cook your own meal on our open firepit. (Reward is for 4 people - 1 person must be over the age of 18)

£500 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£500 Reward - Half day Bushcraft & van sponsorship

Wow - Thank you! We would like to thank you with a half day bushcraft session for 4 people (1 must be over the age of 18). Tents, hammocks, whittling, fire and cooking! Alongside this, as one of our big sponsors, we would like to add your name / company logo to our Therapy Van Sponsorship wall. This will enable us to keep our therapy van going to run our mobile sessions around Norfolk away from our bushcraft base.

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