Outdoor Family Camping 2019 - First time, go wild!

Every year, Outdoor People takes families who have never been camping before on their first-ever camping trip. Here they learn the skills to go camping with children, and just as importantly make friends to go camping with. For many of the families who join us, this is the only chance they get to go on a holiday outside of London.

As a social enterprise we use the profits from renting out tents to fund Outdoor Family Camping, but this only covers the cost of 3 or 4 families. This summer, we want to take at least 10 families camping. It costs about £400 per family for a 3-night adventure that can help change their lives forever. Can you help?

This experience brings families closer to nature and gives children memories that will last them a lifetime.

Last year, we fed the chickens, brought the hay in and picked vegetables for our tea. We made blackberry pie (which for some children was their first taste of a blackberry); we learnt that a bit of rain could lead to a raindance; we found that slugs, spiders and darkness aren’t that scary and that baby squirrels that fall out of trees can be saved.

Families also learnt to put up a tent and cook over a fire, gaining the confidence and community they need to get outdoors regularly at home too.

One mum said that surrounded by other kids, outdoors and happy, her 2-year-old learnt more words in three days than in the previous three months. 

Every year we are overwhelmed by applications, with families referred by Family Information Services, by Family Support Workers, Children’s Centres and by word of mouth. We can’t take everyone, but we want to take as many families as possible.

With an extra £2000, we can:

-       Hire a portable shower and toilet (first time camping with young kids…? You want a proper toilet nearby!)

-       Hire a minibus and driver to pick up families from London (getting three kids and granny, plus all kit, on to a train is possible… but not easy).

-       Buy food and firewood.

-       Cover volunteer costs for four extra volunteers and their families (every year, some of the families who have been on Outdoor Family Camping make a return trip to help us run the project).

We already have the tents and most of the kit – supplied by the great folks from Vango, Thermarest and DD Hammocks, and kit bought with a previous Big Lottery grant – we just need a bit extra to get us over the line.

Lots of organisations offer holidays and adventures for children and young people, but we are one of only a few organisations who take families together. After Outdoor Family Camping we lend out kit for free, along with lots of advice and help, which allows families to take at least one affordable family holiday a year. We also invite all the families to join us on monthlyFamily Wild Walks  around Hackney and East London - adventures for children to take their parents on. This was funded last year by Hackney Council and the amazing Arc'teryx Piccadilly  Family have helped sustain our walks through to next winter at least.

One previous camper said:

“We were thinking about saving to buy some camping equipment over the next year for next year but have no idea where to start. Unfortunately, as we are a family of six it has become increasingly difficult to find holidays that we could afford. Camping is the ideal solution we hope as we haven't managed to get away since 2014 due to financial and family health problems.”

This will be our fifth and largest camping trip and fourth to Green Farm Kent. Green Farm is an amazing organisation, which has a dedicated charitable arm, who have invited us to stay in their gorgeous ancient woodland for free - a perfect first camping location. 

They also take all the children to help feed the chickens and ducks, to dig up vegetables and make their own pizzas.

This will be our fifth and largest camping trip and fourth to Green Farm Kent. Green Farm is an amazing organisation, which has a dedicated charitable arm, who have invited us to stay in their gorgeous ancient woodland for free - a perfect first camping location. 

Vango have brilliantly provided tents and Therm-a-rest have helped us out with lots of mats for families to sleep on. Lots of our customers have donated kit too.

You can read about the previous year’s camping trips here: https://outdoorpeople.org.uk/blogs/outdoor-family-camping 

One happy camping mum said:

‘I’ll be taking away the little tips and details that we simply didn’t know (how not to freeze to death in a tent at night, or – for toddlers – how not to overheat in a tent during daytime naps!) … my anxieties were largely unfounded. Camping is actually really fun!’ 

We work hard year round to raise enough money to make these life-changing trips happen. If you can help, by gifting money, or just by sharing this request, we would be very grateful - and so will the mums, dads and kids that come to Green Farm this summer.



Outdoor People  is a Social Enterprise, a purpose -led non-profit Company Ltd by Guarantee. Our Company Number is 8896547, and we have held grants from the Big Lottery and Hackney Council.

Huge thanks to Green Farm Kent, our partners in Family Camping, who give us their wonderful woodland to camp in and who make the children's (and parent's!) holidays with introductions to puppies and pigs and sheep and the delights of fresh basil! The have a wonderful spa and rooms, do check them out: https://www.greenfarmkent.co.uk/

Donations (0)

  • Amanda Martin 
    • £1,000 
    • 3 mos
  • Phil Waite 
    • £25 
    • 3 mos
  • Madeleine Wilson 
    • £10 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • 5 mos


Cath Prisk 
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
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