Have you heard of the Norwich Woodcraft Folk?

A youth group in Norwich which aims to help young people understand big issues like the environment, world debt, and global conflict, while having fun wants more youngsters to join its ranks.

The Woodcraft Folk is open to both boys and girls and encourages youngsters to get out and about in the open air while learning about the world.

Mark Ellaway, one of the organisers of the Norwich group, said: 'Our name refers to the skill of living close to nature, in the open air. We don't make a habit of hugging trees though occasionally we have been known to craft things out of wood and we do encourage all our members to come and camp with us. 'Through our activities, outings and camps, we help our members understand important issues like the environment, world debt and global conflict and, in recent years, we have focused on sustainable development. By encouraging children to think, we hope they will help build a peaceful, fairer world.'

Activities can include a night walk for younger children to allow them to experience the sounds of a wood, park or city in the dark, den building, making lanterns to light around a campfire, going swimming, singing, drama, or crafts.

The Woodcraft Folk are organised into four groups according to age: the woodchips for those under six years old, six to nine-year-olds are elfins, the pioneers are for 10 to 12-year-olds, and 13 to 15-year-olds join the venturers. Many older members also remain involved.

Mr Ellaway said the organisation was keen to attract more young people to take part in the movement – which is enjoyed by youngsters across the UK – and also find more adults to help out.

Every Tuesday, woodchips and elfins meet from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, and pioneers from 6.15pm to 7.45pm, at Pilling Park Community Centre in Thorpe Hamlet.

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Venturers meet every other Monday from 7pm to 9pm at the same place.

To find out more contact the Norwich Woodcraft Folk on 07770 842206 or email norwich.woodcraft.folk@gmail.com.

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