Meet the Team!

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Lead Instructor / Director

My name is Chey, and I'd be very pleased to meet you one day.​

I've always been a 'tomboy'. The things I did as that 'tomboy' didn't have the fancy name of Bushcraft, it was just what I did. Playing out in nature and making dens and nettle soup over a small controlled fire and more importantly leaving only foot prints and taking away only memories.

So, into the workplace, I was a mental health nurse of some 20+ years and left the profession about 8 or so years ago.

In 2016, I enrolled on a Level 3 Diploma Course as I needed a career change. Two years later I am now qualified in Countryside and Wildlife Management. I have used this diploma as fantastic underpinning knowledge to view and conserve the natural landscape and environments we live within. However, that was not enough as I wanted to offer people the opportunity to conserve and repair their rising stress levels, through the accessing of woodland and connecting to nature. Working in conjunction with conventional therapies and medications, I wanted to offer a different approach.

 

Myself and two other amazing people created Wessex Wilderness Skills to offer woodland activities to all promoting 'social prescribing'. In August 2019 the company was assigned as a Community Interest Company (CIC), this meant we are now a non-profit company with the primary interests in the delivery of quality experiences via learning about the outdoors through enjoyable bushcraft and wilderness skills to any body from all walks of life.

Chey O'Connell

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Lee Farmer

Assistant Instructor

 My working career was initially in the music and stage production industry. I moved from that into benefits assessment, and later became a housing support officer after marrying and becoming a father of three children. 

 I'm a huge fan of the outdoors, always picking the camping option over package holidays and never picking commercialised campsites, but rather those which offered the most natural and back-to-basics options. I also had keen hobbies back then in Archery and Martial Arts.  

 

Ill health took me from my career in housing support and hobbies and I became increasingly interested in homesteading, natural health and wellbeing taking basic courses in Herbalism, Psychotherapy, and Anatomy & Physiology. I'm self-taught in homesteading and grow a lot of food using natural methods avoiding commercial fertilisers and composts and replacing these options with home-made alternatives. Water harvesting and filtration, food preservation and general preparedness became a part of day-to-day life as well as a holistic and natural approach to health and wellbeing.  

Most recently I've acquired a love for bushcraft and its many aspects, recognising the importance of reconnecting with nature and its many positive benefits on both a physical and mental health level. Gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of nature is a practice that can be positively life changing for anyone. I look forward to having the opportunity to say hello and share each others stories and accumulated experience

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Nigel Kendrick

Self-Defence Instructor

Hi, I am Wessex Wilderness Skills self-defence instructor.

Having had a interest in survival, weaponry and techniques from an early age and growing up in a fairly rural location in the 1980's surrounded by woodlands and forestry, I was always out and about with friends building camps, making bows and arrows and learning basic skills from older peers with bushcraft experience.

Throughout my early years growing up I started to get involved with various martial arts such as Judo and Jeet June Do and Kickboxing. Also gaining an NVQ2 in Gym instruction and and NVQ3 in Personal Training.

Fast forward a fair few decades and the knowledge I had gained had been put to use working in various hostile environments throughout the last 30 years.

I started to learn what did and didn't work on the street and decided to base my training more towards the Krav Maga style of self defence that has become very popular nowadays.

With a few adjustments I put together an effective, fairly simple to learn system in which potentially life saving knowledge can be gained in a short amount of time, nothing complicated that requires endless hours sparring and learning pointless techniques that wouldn't work in real world scenarios.

The number one skill I teach is situational awareness the definition being "Being aware of what's going on around you so you can anticipate things happening and take action, ideally before it happens".

Look forward to meeting you

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Emily Partridge

Assistant Instructor

My love of the outdoors started with my Dad, in the garden. Spending hours rummaging around in the dirt, growing, hunting, enjoying.

Camping trips aplenty!.

Brownies and Guides came my way, and then thankfully the Scouts finally let girls in! I was in my element. School was school, but Scouts made the impact.

Off I went to Uni, studying Geography in Manchester and left with a BSc(Hons) Physical Geography. After Uni, I ended up in an office, after 6 months I knew it wasn't for me. Then a mate reminded about the time I announced "one day I will be an outdoor instructor". So off I went, and got a job as an outdoor environmental instructor.

I loved it, and have never looked back.

It's taken me around the country, up and down hills, in and out of caves and rivers, through the woods, in the woods, under the stars, and oh so many fires. Inbetween all of that a few trips to the southern hemisphere to skip the winters!

12 years ago, I settled in Dorset after being rather nomadic for a decade. I have since worked in school as a TA, became involved with working with children and adults whom have disabilities and learning differences.

All the while keeping my hand in with working outdoors with summer contracts, in activity instructing, and bushcraft camps for kids.

I obtained my Level 3 forest school leader, during the pandemic.

I am a proud Mum of a 5 year old and I want nothing more than the current and next generation to understand, appreciate and breath in the wonderful world we live in. Mother Nature is my inspiration.

More Info Coming Soon on the rest of the Wessex Team

Other team members:

Nicky Hawkes - Assistant / Director

Fiona Kent- Ledger - Director