Diggers Stroke Workshop

We are really excited about our new project. With the support of the Stroke Association an innovative pilot project for stroke survivors will take place in 2019.

Caroline’s Stroke Workshop

We are very excited about our new project. With the support of the Stroke Association an innovative pilot project for stroke survivors will take place at Diggers in 2018.

Start date: Tuesday: 7th May 2019
End date: Tuesday 27th August 2019
16 week duration
Time: 2-4pm every Tuesday

Location: Diggers Forest School, Church Farm, South Harting GU31 5QG

Our aim

To provide a more positive healing and rehabilitation experience where we can all have fun and form friendships, regaining confidence to once again tackle the world and helping each person to rediscover their own path.

Our story

Caroline survived a stroke 4 years ago. It was so serious that she nearly died. Her recovery has been slow and difficult, physically, mentally and emotionally. Caroline was in hospital for weeks on end, could not talk for 6 months and completely lost the use of her right arm. Caroline, her husband Alex and her children put so much work into her recovery. Physiotherapy, speech therapy, oxygen therapy, constant recapping and patience in bucket loads were required. Although Caroline can appreciate her own family, we know that others aren’t as lucky to have such a good support network.

Before the stroke Caroline had run a very successful and popular forest school club at local primary schools. To aid Caroline’s recovery plus make their life run more smoothly, Alex decided to expand the idea of the forest school club and make it into a full-time nursery for children aged two to five years. Alex did a remarkable job creating a natural haven for the children in the woods, at the nursery building and even in the family garden utilising the stream for water play and creating a little fire pit for melting marshmallows.

Four years on Caroline says that she owes a huge proportion of her recovery to waking up in the green space of the south downs, being able to breakfast in the garden with the sun on her face and being involved in the nursery where she is often found campfire cooking with the children in the woods.

There is so much research now being conducted into the relationship between our recovery and general wellbeing and being near to accessible green spaces. It is fast being recognised as a method of recovery, the benefits to long term mental health being both positive but more importantly side effect free.

The NHS has supported Caroline to a tremendous extent but the money and care has to run out at some point. Unfortunately, it is usually so early in the recovery process that people feel as though they have been dropped into a seemingly endless chasm with no real direction. We both wanted to try to help people through this stage, encouraging some positivity, creating new links to the world again, allowing people the space to recover in a safe and warm atmosphere.

Caroline approached me with an idea to take the principles of a forest school and apply it to the recovery of stroke victims. I was absolutely taken by the idea, finding it truly inspired and knowing my own feelings about the lack of natural and holistic healing we decided to take it as far as we could.

We have therefore decided to run a pilot project for stroke survivors starting in May 2018. It’s going to be exciting and we both cannot wait!

Meet the People

Caroline Levitt

Although at times stroke recovery is exhausting and emotionally devastating Caroline would say it was one of the best things that has ever happened to her, the suffering that she went through has become an inspiration. She has had a life changing epiphany where she now feels that her role in life is to look after and care for others in a similar position so that their general wellbeing is positive and warm. She has become strong in her determination and her zest for life gets stronger daily despite her continual fight to regain the use of her right arm and full speech.