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National Lottery Heritage Fund  funded resilience and improvement projects

Small Woods has received short term funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help deal with the impacts of Covid and the following short term opportunities are therefore available:

Archive development and organisation – We are looking for support for the improvement of the conservation, cataloguing and accessibility of our collections. We hold several collections; amongst them craft items (both tools and artefacts), a library and a unique bequest from Oliver Rackham of his early research artefacts (Oliver Rackham is the undisputed “father” of British Woodland Ecology). We have been working over the past year to catalogue and store these items. We need to complete the cataloguing, as well as improving the environmental conditions both for the collections and the volunteers who work on them. A small temporary building, is envisaged that would enable us to provide the necessary storage and safe separated working environment.

Business Process review and development – We are looking for support to deliver a business process review, including records and procedures review and reorganisation – We intend to undertake a review of our purpose and impact, supported by a review of our business processes to ensure that we improve our capability to be effective and have impact as an organisation in line with our charitable objectives. The review needs to ask a number of questions regarding purpose and orientation, management and organisational structure, Business processes and Digital Transformation. A fuller brief exists for this work for any interested parties.

ICT Resilience project, inc. CRM development – We are looking for support to deliver an ICT Resilience project, Our public facing digital presentation is severely limited by inadequate back up from an online data and intelligence system, such as that provided by a CRM. Our staff are UK wide and this facility would make a huge difference to us. Our membership manager is based near Inverness, our Funding manger in Aberystwyth and our Communications Officer is in Machynlleth. An online CRM would allow them to share intelligence efficiently, furthering the resilience of the organisation. Several staff have been severely impared in their ability to work from home due to inadequate IT. Whilst most staff now have laptops, these are often underpowered and barely adequate for the greater strain they are now placed under. The work will need result in upgraded IT capacity.

Visit and Learn Zone development, inc. garden redevelopment and pathway – We are looking for support to deliver a development project for Green Wood Centre to further improve its “Covid-safe” status – The Green Wood Centre is our flagship site in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. We are planning to reintroduce activity onto this critical shop window site for us, in ways that maintain the site as a “Safe Space”. We are in consultation with Telford and Wrekin Council, who also want to open Ironbridge as a “Safe Place”. Turning the Green Wood Centre, which is currently a very open site with overlapping and mixed uses, into a safe space, involves separating the user groups into “bubbles”, so each group minimises the degree to which they come into contact with other groups. This involves firming up an approach to site zonation that we have consulted on previously as part of the master planning process that introduced the Coracle Centre onto site, with casual visits being limited to the “Visit” zone, nearest to our car park, training focused in the central “Learn” zone and our work areas limited to the “Work” zone, furthest from the Car Park.
Adaptations will be required in all zones to enable the site to re-open safely. Our café, which has now re-opened needs further external provision, to allow people to eat and drink inside and maintain social distancing, with as much cover as possible. We are aiming to re-purpose a disused garden area as a café garden and event and story telling space. We need to ensure all seating is sufficiently separate to enable social distancing. The structures would be in keeping with the site and give safety and indeed privacy to each group seating.
The shelter under which we teach much of the outdoor craft is quite narrow and does not allow social distancing of tutor and students. We need to extend the covered area so the tutor can safely work with the students who can be accommodated under the shelter. A key element of reintroducing training safely will be in the establish of dedicated welfare facilities. These are already in place in the work and visit zones, although new provision will needed in the Learn Zone. Our spaces, such as our workshop, are not easy to clean. We need to improve our surfaces, so they can be kept regularly and reliably clean. This will involve new surfaces in some areas.

Filming & Editing – We are looking for support to help us develop a professionally produced set of films and clips. We have a wide ranging series of courses and our first task will be to get good quality film clips of as many of our tutors as possible. We appreciate that the real value and indeed cost in providing good quality film is in the editing. The filming work will include:
• Tasters – promo videos for short courses (to entice new participants)
• Tasters – intros to OCN modules (for registered participants)
• Tasters – content for a Small Woods promo (main audiences)
• Longer – content for an OCN / online course(full tutorial for registered participants)
• Longer – content for year in the life of a coppice worker (publicity to main audiences)

Online training development – We are looking for support to help us bring our training online – Some of our courses, particularly those which have OCN accreditation lend themselves to online provision. However, this requires re-design, particularly the development of online training material. The move online may also include the provision of adaptations to the Woodland Hall and Cruck Barn to operate as Training Suites.

Anyone interested in any of the above opportunities, please contact The opportunities will be open until 4th September. Work can be delivered by employment or service contract.