Project Details

Pilot Programmes:

During 2018 and early 2019 we are running and evaluating pilot events for two projects, aiming to have proof of concept leading to rollout during 2019:

Front-Line Futures

The capacity of front-line public services is crucial to everyone’s wellbeing: these include the NHS, local authority functions, and parts of the voluntary sector. Currently we are seeing a severe upturn in burnout and staff turnover in many areas, alongside rising demand and shrinking resources.

In 2018-19 we are running several pilot programmes relating to these issues including:

  • Residential workshops at Hazel Hill Wood on resilience for hospital doctors and other health professionals, led by a joint team from Hazel Hill Trust and Westminster Centre for Resilience.
  • An Action Learning Programme, Re-visioning the Front Line, for managers of small front-line service teams, including three 24-hour residentials at Hazel Hill Wood, starting October 2018.
  • Joint programmes with other providers, combining a Woodland Resilience Intensive with sessions in the workplace.

Future Conversations

Research shows that most people prefer avoidance and denial to engaging with the future outlook. The aim of this project is to offer knowhow and facilitation to help disadvantaged individuals and community groups to explore the upsides and downsides of the next 10-20 years, and raise their skills and confidence to enjoy the years ahead, drawing on natural resilience, deep ecology and other methods. The format will be a series of facilitated conversations. We are in discussion with several local partners, such as city farms, aiming to start pilot programmes of 6-8 sessions in early 2019 in several locations.

Partner Organisations

Partners are a central element of our strategy, and we welcome approaches from other potential partner organisations. Those already involved include:

  • Westminster Centre for Resilience: A leading expert in resilience research and training for public and private sectors, and strengths in evaluation of such work: part of Westminster College, London.
  • Schumacher Institute: This non-profit thinktank and research network headquartered in Bristol is our lead partner, with many years’ experience in exploring futures issues.
  • Hawkwood College: Centre for Future Thinking: Are hosting an open workshop led by Seeding our Future, October 15-16 2018, with Alan Heeks and others from SOF team. For more info click here.
  • Community Co Labs: an international network of organisers and facilitators working with community regeneration projects.
  • Hazel Hill Trust: Alan Heeks is Chair of this registered charity which runs Hazel Hill Wood, a 70-acre conservation woodland and education centre near Salisbury, which Alan also founded, and which has proved a valuable setting for resilience programmes.


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