The Wilderness Programme - From Crisis to a Life Worth Living

RCN 1204799, Penrith

The Wilderness Programme (TWP) is the only registered UK charity of its kind focussed on creating opportunities for long term recovery from mental health related problems. TWP is a residential, non-medical outdoor/nature based programme specifically designed for adult individuals over the age of 21 years to meet the needs of those coming to terms with, or in recovery of issues such as addictions, bereavement, professional burn out, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health related problems. The programme also facilitates those who are struggling with aspects of life such as low self esteem, low confidence, feeling lost or lacking direction.

The Wilderness Programme - From Crisis to a Life Worth Living

Mental Health Recovery for All...
Its 2024 - Social anxiety and mental health issues are at an all-time high and whilst there are a high number of organisations who offer crisis care there is very little provision for long term mental health recovery. Whilst primary care is a vital step for helping those in crisis, we believe that there is a trend whereby individuals can typically cycle through the system repeatedly without any real development or emphasis being placed on helping individuals in the longer term.

How many organisations do you know of that provide a cost free programme aimed specifically at the long term recovery from mental health problems?

About The Programme
Based primarily in the Lake District National Park, The Wilderness Programme (TWP) is entirely unique in the way that it provides a powerful life-changing and long-term opportunity to help people re-engage with their lives after crisis. The programme takes place as a 7-Day residential experience run from our unique ‘Safari Style base Camp’ which is located within a secluded and remote nature reserve at Wild Haweswater.TWP is a totally immersive experience and combines a carefully balanced blend of Wilderness Therapy, Relational Coaching Psychology and Outdoor Activities & Experiences.

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TWP is entirely non-medical and is specifically designed for adult individuals over the age of 21 to meet the needs of those coming to terms with, or in recovery of issues such as addictions, professional burn out, bereavement, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health related problems.

The programme also facilitates those who are struggling with aspects of life such as low self-esteem, low confidence, feeling lost or lacking direction.

Working with a highly experienced Coaching Psychologist at various key points throughout the programme, participants explore how they can exist in a more authentic way. Any issues, mistakes and successes will be held lightly and explored, so that a change in the way that they would prefer to exist can be co-created and agreed in order to help nurture and advance the individuals recovery. 

Ultimately, space is created for participants to explore and develop their goals for life and options for well-being. In summary, the programme creates existential opportunities to change behaviours and engage in a life worth living.

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Our Impact
Since 2017, the programme has been instrumental in giving participants the self-confidence and belief to exist in many ways, to let go of harmful habits, develop healthy relationships, move away from damaging relationships, change career, relocate overseas, and most significantly begin to find the courage to be that person who is ‘beginning to live their best life’. Please read more about our impact on our website.

How TWP helps to Protect the Environment
We are all instinctively aware of the healing power of nature and the many benefits it has to offer  – especially for those in recovery. ‘Wilderness Therapy’ plays a significant role in TWP as it provides the opportunity for participants to reconnect with themselves through nature.

Our partnership with charities such as the RSPB at Wild Haweswater enable us to pro-actively (and by default) help to protect and support the natural world through involving participants in activities such as tree planting, educational guided walks and taking part in a whole range of hands-on conservation projects.

It’s a ‘win win’ for our participants, our partners and the environment!

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Charitable Status
For over six years we successfully operated TWP as a business and whilst we have been bolstered by the many positive effects and results that the programme has achieved, we became disillusioned with the idea that participants should have to pay for their recovery and more importantly, that not everyone was able to afford it. Whilst the stringent rules and effects of lockdown all but closed us down, the increase in the volume of enquiries post-pandemic became the catalyst in revolutionising the nature of our organisation and in Sept 2023 we became a registered UK charity (CIO).

Why We Need Your Help
As a CIO we now provide TWP as a cost-free mental health recovery programme for all participants, creating the concept of 'Mental Health Recovery for All' - however as with all newly registered charities we are  wholly reliant on donations and grants to carry out the work that we do.

Our Vision for the Future
Our vision for the future is to grow the delivery capability and create a network of delivery teams across the UK in 2025. We hope that one day we may be helping thousands of people each year in long term recovery.

For more information on the programme please see our website for details.


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