My journey started back in 2004. After spending several years in an office environment and often away from my young family, I realised that I wanted to change my life for the better. I left my office job and started working as a groundsman at a beautiful stately home. Its was like therapy! Being outside working as the seasons changed made me feel stress free, and I soon realised how much I loved the outdoors.
After a year I embarked on the next stage of my journey, as in 2006 I began a degree in art and design. During this time I started to create sculptures; I was using cheap found objects and experimenting with sculpture. As I brought others into the creative process, the sculptures began to take den-like forms, and my life as a den builder began!
As part of my research, I approached a local school asking if I could work with their pupils making dens. This day will stay with me forever; to see the children smiling and having a positive, motivated and creative approach was amazing.
I qualified with 1st class Hons and was determined to pursue a career in making dens. To broaden my experience of working with children and young people, I took a job in a secondary school in Leeds. This experience was invaluable, giving me a deeper insight into youth and education culture, and equipping me with the skills necessary to work freelance building dens in schools...a career I have loved for over a decade now!
My out door workshops soon grew from the art of den building to incorporate a wider range of skills and activities and now we offer a variety of tailored experiences, from making and flying kites to fire-lighting to building tree houses. I have now delivered exciting outdoor workshops to over 50,000 people across the UK, in a wide range of community spaces, schools, galleries, parks, gardens, festivals and woodlands.
I have established a strong reputation for engaging, motivating and raising achievement, through working with schools, children, families and other professionals . Our events are tailored to our clients specific requirements and adapted to almost any environment.
I believe that the experience of den building and learning outside is fundamental to children's development, allowing them to learn through play and exploration. Despite the proven value of den building activities and playing outdoors, research suggests that it is dying out. Through engaging and inspiring people, I aim to preserve the art of den building and enjoying the great outdoors, providing opportunities to learn a broad range of skills, including team work, problem solving, mathematical skills and creativity.
"The Den Man"