1-2-1 or Small Groups

Our bespoke personal development programmes address the complex needs of children and young people who have trouble engaging in relationships, school and life in general

Working outdoors with experienced, highly trained mentors and therapists, primary aged children and teenagers find healing and peace. They gain skills that enable them to engage productively with others and find a path toward continued growth and, eventually, productive adulthood.

The Wilderness Foundation offers one-to-one youth services at low cost to the referral agency or the parent/carer.


The one-to-one youth programme is currently available in Essex with plans to expand across the UK. It is designed for young people of all ages. Participants typically have complex issues that have resisted conventional interventions.

Participants may be referred through Children’s Support Services, Residential Care Homes,Behavioural Attendance Partnerships or by Parents/Carers. We also offer this personalised programme directly to secondary schools in Essex.


One-to-one youth programmes are personalised to meet the needs of each participant, based on discussions with the referral agency and the young person.

Participants and their therapist typically work together one to three days a week, several hours a day, for an agreed period of time. This begins by building a trust-based, non-judgmental relationship with the young person.

The programme design usually includes outdoor activities and can include fishing, nature photography, hiking, camping, canoeing, rock climbing, orienteering, gardening, and more.

Our young participants typically get so absorbed in these activities that they do not notice their therapist gently guiding them toward greater self-esteem and self-control. Simply being in nature calms their stress and gives them space for reflection and growth.

Additional days or half days follow a personal development agenda set in our Chatham Green site: 400 acres of meadows, woods, streams, and farmland. Participants continue to enjoy the inherent benefits of being outdoors while working with their therapist to develop the agreed-upon personal and social skills.

Sample outcomes for a young person who is not engaging in school and who has other complex needs might include the following:

  • Increased self-confidence and awareness of success
  • Development of skills for independent learning
  • Ability to consider the needs of others and to maintain relationships with adults and peers
  • Ability to accept authority and understand that actions have consequences
  • Practice of skills for controlling emotions and avoiding potentially harmful situations
  • Mental health and wellbeing

Refer a Student

If you would like to refer a troubled young person for one-to-one bespoke services, start by completing our referral form and mailing it to our office in Chatham Green, Essex. Then we will:

  • Meet with you to discuss the needs of the young person
  • Meet with the young person to see if he or she is willing to engage with us
  • Agree with you and with the young person on a programme outline
  • Give you a formal proposal

Once the referral agency and Wilderness Foundation have agreed on the proposal, we will begin work with your young person within four weeks.

To begin this process, download our referral form. For more information, call us on 0300 123 3073.