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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Lansley

Outliers in the Outdoors: Neurodivergence & Nature

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Does your organisation need support from the neurodivergent community?

Last week I was invited down to Westonbirt Arboretum to deliver a workshop on neurodivergence and nature as part of a series of events run by the Barnwood Trust. These events have drawn together representatives from across the Gloucestershire visitor economy as part of a series designed to build understanding, consistency and community across multiple strands of practice regarding sustainability and accessibility.

My workshop covered theoretical frameworks, case studies and practical strategies to help participants to analyse their existing practice, identify priority areas to address, and make recommendations and changes with confidence. It was great to answer some insightful questions from a lived experience perspective, as well as being able to equip participants with the skills to build their own networks to help co-create their own community driven standards, as well as designing processes to inform funding applications and assess impact.

What really struck me about the way in which Barnwood Trust have facilitiated these sessions in particular was a distinct sense of trust and safety amongst the group to really be honest about their work and where they wanted to progress. It was great to experience such a willingness to affect positive change, and felt this really facilitated an excellent session where everyone felt supported to share their experience and concerns for the benefit of the whole group.

I love delivering training and development workshops like this, but what really stood out to me on the day was the sense of community shared by the participants. As a session facilitator it was great to work with a group so honest and open around the challenges their organisations faced when it comes to preparing both online and onsite for neurodivergent audiences, participants and staff.

Since this session I have been approached by a number of organisations to prepare workshops specifically tailored to their operations or challenges, and as such I am preparing a series of sessions that address shared issues faced by venues, event organisors, visitor/tourism specialists and local authorties.

If you would like to discuss a workshop session for your business, organisation or local authority please get in touch:

Huge thanks to the staff at Barnwood Trust, Westonbirt Arboretum and the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum for hosting this session.

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