To the 550 of you who have responded to the membership survey over the last couple of weeks, a massive thank you for taking the time to respond and giving your feedback. The response has quite literally been overwhelming. For a movement in the precious early stages of growth like ours, every little bit of feedback is vital. We’re learning by doing!
It’s fair to say we’ve learned a huge amount. Not least, how much you all care about the work we’re all involved in, a real shot in the arm for us here to focus on delivering on our mission. It was also a reminder that its time to do more, the appetite for us to deliver a real tangible difference came through loud and clear.
The big issue for us now is finding the right way to fund ourselves, so that we can deliver more of what we promise; and that balance between funding streams is critical for us right now. Serving a network as diverse as ours is always a tricky thing; we know we have lots of large organisations and a whole range of local community interest companies and charities as well as a diverse range of families and schools across the land. We’ve learned lots about your willingness and ability to pay and what sorts of things would add value to you. We’re really clear though, much of what we do must always be free; we want fewer barriers not more barriers to #wildtime and as we spread our message into more and more communities we want to remain as accessible as possible.
The next few weeks see us putting the finishing touches to our new web platform and with it the tools for you to get, give and share more #wildtime. Everything is going to be free for the first few months whilst we work with you, our community to establish how we can use the website to deliver most value to you.
What came out really clearly is the desire for The Wild Network to be something that supports and amplifies the work of all of the organisations working to get more kids, families and schools enjoying more #wildtime. We agree, as a community of organisations, teachers, parents we need to work together to do more to ‘sell’ the benefits of a childhood spent outside; helping wild compete with all of the many other competing distractions they all face. One of the most potent bits of feedback was the desire for local community action and support. Whilst the issues affecting childhood are global and deep-seated, the responses, the solutions are delivered by you, usually at a local level and it is clear that a large part of our role is going to be how we can support, connect and amplify the amazing work that already takes place, celebrating wildness in all its forms, everywhere from Huddersfield to Hackney.
Together we are greater than the sum of our parts. We won’t forget that.
~ Mark, Chief Wild Officer, TWN, June 2015