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Russwood was recently approached by the Badenoch branch of Health and Happiness, a Highland wide, community focused, charitable organisation that promotes health and happiness in adults with learning difficulties, to provide sponsorship for a new venture: the Highland Wildlife project.  Working in conjunction with Caberfeidh Horizons, a Kingussie based bookshop providing employment for those with special needs, and The Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig, this latest project places a small group of local individuals in the position of community ambassadors and provides an excellent opportunity for positive social experiences for the group and Wildlife Park visitors alike.

Russwood joined the self-titled Wildlife Wombles earlier today at Kincraig to hand over a cheque for the equipment the Wombles will need during the coming year.  We had a great time meeting everybody, and the enthusiasm and energy of the group really impressed us.  Chatting with Pete Carson, a Community Connector for Health and Happiness and group leader (or Chief Wildlife Womble!), he was happy to give us more information on how the project will progress and the benefits that it will bring to those involved:

“We are working with The Park for a year – with six folk with learning disability ( we call them “experts” as they are the expert in their own life ) going along every Friday.

They have called themselves ‘The Wildlife Wombles’ and we have reflective jackets with that printed on the back.

The project is divided into three parts. The first is a photographic element – where we take photos in the same place in The Park each week so we can plot what grows at which time of year. Also we can show the changing views as the year progresses.

The second part is to help keep the place tidy and we have tongs and gloves so that the gang can do safe litter picking – and as we go round doing that it gives us a chance to chat to the holidaymakers. That is all great for the experts to get used to chatting to people.

The third part is to take a couple of versions of posters etc. round the holidaymakers – while they are visiting – and ask them which poster they prefer. It might be a different colour or different layout. Then when we know which the public prefer we can tell The Park and they can add it to their research.

So all in all – it gives the experts a super chance to mix with people from all parts and to feel that they are doing something really worthwhile.

Thanks again to Russwood, we are really thrilled for the sponsorship you have given us.  Projects like the Wildlife Wombles could not take place without the help and support of the local community and companies.”

We are delighted to provide that support to the Wildlife Wombles, and the volunteers that donate their time, energy, enthusiasm and voice to the continued success of this inspirational group.