Everyone at the Heart of England Forest is excited to introduce you to the newest member of the team based at Forest HQ in Dorsington.

Karen Hillier joined us in November and her role is to help to support and develop fundraising at the charity. As Fundraising Officer, she will be championing and supporting local corporate partnerships, as well as encouraging and developing new initiatives for communities and individuals to help raise funds for the benefit of the charity.

Karen Hillier, Fundraising Officer at the Heart of England Forest

Karen Hillier, Fundraising Officer at the Heart of England Forest

We are really delighted by the response we have had from a growing number of people who choose to support the Heart of England Forest by donating towards our work or by supporting the charity through running their own fundraising initiatives. The income generated from fundraising is vitally important and enables us to achieve all our charitable objectives benefiting people, communities and wildlife.

Karen said; “As a family, we discovered the Heart of England Forest about four years ago when we were looking for new dog walks. With our black Labrador, Ollie, we’ve explored all parts of the Forest open to the public. To find such a wonderful landscape of ever-changing colours, amazing views and experiences has been a joy to us all.

“We’ve encountered deer, red kite, hawks, woodpeckers and beautiful barn owls but more than that we discovered the guided walks that the Heart of England Forest team organise and started to learn more about the diversity of life in the Forest from the wildlife to the trees and plants. In addition, we learnt about the charity’s founder, Felix Dennis, and his passion for trees, poetry and the Garden of Heroes and Villains.

“We have had so much enjoyment from visiting the Heart of England Forest that I realised that if it was ever a possibility, my ideal job would be to work for this inspirational charity, and here I am!

“The Heart of England Forest is such an important charity; enhancing the countryside, opening it up for people like you and me to walk in a magical setting. With your support and ongoing fundraising, we can keep growing this great native broadleaf woodland for future generations to enjoy.”

Karen is keen to hear your brilliant fundraising thoughts and ideas, and here are a few to get you started:

Donating in lieu of sending Christmas Cards – as well as reducing your environmental impact, a donation instead of sending cards this festive season can make a real and lasting difference; a donation of £30 will help plant and support 10 trees! We can provide you with a special digital thank you certificate that you can share via email or on social media to let your friends and family know about your special and enduring alternative Christmas gesture you have made.

Milestone occasions – if you (or someone you know) are going to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, why not encourage your friends and family to donate to help plant that particular number of trees to mark the occasion. 50 trees to mark that half-century milestone, or 25 in celebration of a silver wedding anniversary. We can help you set up a fundraising page and ensure we provide a certificate of thanks and recognition that you can share with everyone.

Sponsored walks – it’s a great time to start planning your New Year challenge! Why not think about holding a weekend of woodland walks in January? We have seven waymarked routes across the Forest that total 16.8 miles. Could you cover this in a weekend? It’s a great chance to get walking, get to know the Forest better and raise money through sponsorship to help maintain, improve and extend our public footpaths.

To discuss any of these suggestions further, or any of your own ideas that will raise funds to help grow England’s largest new native broadleaf forest, please contact Karen Hillier by email karen.hillier@hoef.co.uk or call 01789 778541.

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