Frontline Futures

A new approach for health professionals:

Woodland Resilience Intensives

doctors2-600The endless grind between rising demands and shrinking resources puts health professionals at risk of depletion or burnout.

Woodland Resilience Intensives offer a different way to gain new insights and skills, to raise your resilience and nourish your wellbeing.

These intensives have been jointly developed by Hazel Hill Trust, Westminster Centre for Resilience and the Seeding our Future project.


Whilst the idea of Nature immersion for medics may seem novel, there is good research evidence for it. Programmes can be tailored to different client groups and a range of formats. The three main formats offered are:

One-night residential: Typically a 24 to 36 hour workshop including overnight stay at Hazel Hill Wood (see more below). Key elements include:

  • Conservation work and other physical activities to help participants de-stress and open to reflection, and relax into social contact with each other.
  • An evening campfire circle for sharing, mutual support and insights on work stresses
  • Learning about resilience from the woodland ecosystem, and practical tools for our own wellbeing and our teams.
  • Practicing simple processes from neurobiology, mindfulness and other sources which can be used in everyday work.
  • Processes and space to find better approaches to daily and systemic work challenges

Action Learning Programme: A group of 10-18 participants share a journey over 4-8 months exploring issues in depth, which may be individual, team, or systemic. Each programme typically involves residentials at Hazel Hill Wood, plus group sessions in the workplace, online support, Skype calls etc. These programmes can be delivered in partnership with Westminster Centre for Resilience, or with others, or by our team.

One-day non-residential: This would cover some elements of the one-night residential, but on a taster basis.

Who is it for?

The facilitation team have worked with a wide range of professionals in the NHS, and other parts of the health and care sector, e.g. hospices, private care homes. In general, programmes are more effective with a single interest group, for example junior hospital doctors, GP’s, or a team from the same organisation.

What will I get from it?

You can expect an array of new, practical resilience skills which you can use and share with colleagues; a sense of renewal and resourcing; fresh insights into systemic issues of stress and burnout for your team and the wider organisation. Here are some participant quotes:

Techniques were shown that can be used daily.
I felt the staff were very aware of all the participants and really cared about our wellbeing.
I want to leave behind in this fire the idea that showing emotion makes me weak.

Formal evaluations by Westminster Centre for Resilience are available.


The three partner organisations involved can draw on a wide range of facilitators: intensives have at least two facilitators, one a medical professional, one from Hazel Hill, both with extensive experience of resilience programmes for the health sector. The lead facilitators are:

Marcos Frangos: General Manager of Hazel Hill Trust. Has led numerous resilience programmes for health professionals and other front-line services, and managed wellbeing strategy in large local authority.

David Peters: Trained as a GP, and has worked in a range of professional roles in the NHS. Founder and Director of the Westminster Centre for Resilience (WCR), now an Emeritus Professor.

Daghni Rajasingam is a consultant and Deputy Director for Postgraduate Medical Education at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and has worked closely with WCR for several years.

Alan Heeks: Director of the Seeding our Future project, and founder/chair of Hazel Hill Trust. Many years’ experience in using ecosystems as a model for human resilience, and has created the Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness.

About Hazel Hill Wood

Hazel Hill WoodHazel Hill is a magical 70-acre wood, near Salisbury. It has simple, yet beautifully crafted off-grid wooden buildings with lovely indoor and outdoor group spaces, basic accommodation in bedrooms and sleeping lofts (or camping), good hot showers and compost loos, plus a sauna. The wood is run by an educational charity whose aims are to promote wellbeing, resilience and sustainability through programmes at the wood for a wide variety of client groups. The food is outstanding!

What will it cost?

The total cost for a 24-hour residential is around £250 per person, including facilitation, accommodation, and food, for 14 participants. If this cost is beyond your budget, some funding support may be available through Westminster Centre for Resilience or Hazel Hill Trust.


To discuss a tailored programme, please contact Marcos Frangos: 07881425804, or For more information on open events for front-line services and others, see and

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