Elizabeth O'Rourke
Elizabeth O'Rourke
Forest Education
In a nutshell:
A Forest School practitioner and also the co - owner of a very successful sculpture business Simon O’Rourke Ltd. in Wrexham, North Wales.
Sectors:
Miscellaneous
Region:
Wrexham

Hi, I'm Liz O'Rourke and I'm a Big Ideas Wales role model.

 

I'm a Forest School practitioner and also the co - owner of a very successful sculpture business in Wrexham, North Wales.

I have been self-employed now for around 9 and a half years, and I work hard every day to make sure that the necessary things get done to keep the business moving along and continue to work on new leads and contacts, because quite often, it isn't what you know, it's who you know.

I grew up in Bristol in a family who was dependent upon the benefits system at the time, and I went to University through the UCAS clearing system because I didn't get enough points at A levels.

I did a degree I loved, but then was completely stuck as to what to do although I had always liked the idea of becoming a primary school teacher.

I had lots of different jobs, from catering to retail, to customer service, to care work and some management roles, until one day I decided to re-train as a community development worker, and got head hunted for a job in Holywell in Flintshire.

I loved my job, supporting children's work, Youth work, and people with mental health issues within the town.

 

In 2009, I discovered Forest School, through supporting some Forest School sessions in my local community in Holywell, that was part of my role as a children's and youth worker in the town.

I found out where the next training course was taking place, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I have worked as a Forest School practitioner ever since on a part time basis along with my role in running our sculpture business.

I mainly work with children of the primary age group teaching them about the nature and the woodland that we are in.

Generally I am mostly working with children and their parents or carers with ADHD, ASD and Autism and I love it. Sometimes it is a real challenge to get the balance of activities right for the group I am working with at the time because ultimately they all just need some time to chill out and learn a few new skills here and there, but it is a tremendous privilege and I really love it.