Doncaster retailer exceeds target for veterans and key worker project

People in Doncaster have been thanked for playing their part in helping a retailer exceed the amount it pledged to a not-for-profit organisation which provides therapeutic, woodland-based activities for members of the armed forces, emergency services and key workers.

By Stephanie Bateman
Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 12:49 pm

Flooring Superstore set itself a target of raising £20,000 for the Woodland Warrior Programme, but in less than a year it has already reached just over £24,000, with more money still to come in.

The retailer, reached out to the Woodland Warrior Programme, which runs a woodland retreat near Bristol, helping people cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and other stress and mental health issues.

Customers were invited to make donations online and in its 30-plus stores across the UK, which includes a store on the Wheatley Hall Trade Park in Doncaster with the retailer pledging to match fund the donations.

Nathan Pritchard (Flooring Superstore) lighting a campfire under the guidance of Nick Goldsmith, who runs Hidden Valley Bushcraft

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The one-day workshops involved activities centred around bushcraft and the natural world. This includes foraging, tracking, making fire and shelters, wild cooking and general wilderness living skills.

Evaluation carried out by the Woodland Warrior Programme after the workshops revealed:

 97 per cent of people who took part said their mood had improved by the end of the workshop.

 97 per cent said they felt more relaxed by the end of the workshop.

 76 per cent said their drive/ focus had increased by the end of the workshop.

Louise Goldsmith, who set up the Woodland Warrior Programme with her former Royal Marine Commando husband Nick, said the support provided by Flooring Superstore has proven invaluable.

She said: “The workshops were designed to make a positive difference to the mental health of those taking part and it’s clear we achieved this, which is fantastic.

“This would not have been possible without the support of Flooring Superstore and we are so grateful for their generosity.”

Flooring Superstore Regional Manager Ian Robinson said: “Each year, we ask our staff to choose a charity or organisation to support as part of our corporate social responsibility programme, which also includes donations of flooring in the areas where we have stores.

“In 2020, we were struck by the number of organisations put forward who are helping people with mental health issues and post-traumatic stress disorder, in many cases as a result of working during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Woodland Warrior Programme is very unique not just because of the positive impact they are having on so many people from all walks of life but also because they are doing this in an environmentally friendly way by preserving precious woodland.

“It’s pleasing to see the impact the workshops have had, and we would like to thank all our customers who gave so graciously for such an amazing initiative.”

Flooring Superstore also recently donated almost £1,000 worth of flooring for the Woodland Warrior Programme’s latest project – a new woodland cabin.

When complete, the cabin will provide a place for veterans and their families to stay, enabling them to spend quality time together whilst also taking part in various fun, woodland-based activities.

Around 30 families will benefit from using the woodland cabin over the next year and there are plans in place to extend this to key workers in the future too.

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