£300k boost for Bushcraft project at Kinnego Marina

A £300k investment to create a new Bushcraft Project at Kinnego Marina has been approved.

The Bushcraft project will teach practical camping skills such as making fires, wild food and learning about plants.

The total cost of the three-year project is £299,795.24 with Department of Social Development providing £170,354, and an in-kind contribution from Craigavon Borough Council of £87,843.16, together with the Department of Education and Learning contributing £41,598.08.

The project includes a one-year marine ranger training programme.

It aims to increase the employability, well being and physical health for eight residents, while providing training and assessment to NGB standard. The rangers will gain up to 14 vocational qualifications and gain valuable work experience during the 12-month programme.

The course is one-year long to ensure they gain the pre-requisites for jobs such as Marine Ranger, Grounds Maintenance and Outdoor Instructor. The trainees will be registered with Wade Training on the current ‘Steps to Work Programme’ which will allow them to continue to claim their benefits plus an additional training allowance of £15.38 per week and two further qualifications i.e. a VQR and computer course.

And the Bushcraft programme is a secondary part of the project.

“Bushcraft is one of the most engaging activities for younger people available in the current age,” according to the Council.

Bushcraft teaches practical skills of camp craft, building shelter, making fires, wild food and plant identification and much more. The participation programme will see 360 participants over a two-year period partake in an outdoor residential experience building self-reliance, resourcefulness and self-confidence.

Each residential course will consist of a teambuilding session, a two day residential camp and a follow up/development session. Transport for groups will be provided between NR area and Kinnego. In addition 800 participants over two years will have the opportunity to experience an introduction session as part of a team building day, school or community social event or during Northern Irelands first ever ‘Bushcraft Festival’ hosted by the staff at Kinnego Marina.