Barefoot Breakfast: Durrell rewilds Jersey’s business leaders

On Friday 15th June, Durrell hosted a business breakfast with a difference, which saw many of Jersey’s top executives, including new chief minister, John Le Fondré and Bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, gather at RBC Wealth Management’s office, Gaspé House.

The event, kindly sponsored by RBC in support of their new global focus, to support young people find meaningful employment and their positive mental health, set out to promote the benefits of Wild Time to the business community in Jersey. In keeping with the event’s message to ‘rewild ourselves’, guests were invited to remove their shoes and enter the room via the grass carpet.

The first presenter, David Bond, spoke about the importance of nature connection, or wild time, to people’s health and wellbeing. He explained the numerous physical and mental health benefits of frequent and regular contact with natural environments and how to bring a little wildness into our working lives. Durrell’s CEO, Dr Lesley Dickie, then took to the stage to speak about why nature connection is so important for own well-being but also for the health of the natural world. She explained that while saving threatened wildlife remains at the heart of Durrell’s work – their new ambitions go further than this and reconnecting people to nature is a vital part of their approach.

Durrell’s new vision of a wilder, healthier, more colourful world includes some bold and ambitious targets and the global conservation organisation is calling on support from Jersey’s business community to make this vision a reality. Commenting on the event, Ann Marie Vibert, Head of Banking and Specialised Solutions, RBC Wealth Management said "We are delighted to again support the Durrell Barefoot Breakfast. In addition to its wildlife conservation mission, Durrell’s support of young people in Jersey is one that we share, through improved mental health and general wellbeing of our island’s youth". On departure guests were given by RBC a succulent made from sustainable and recycled materials, created by ACORN (part of the Jersey Employment Trust) in support of giving young people work experience and the opportunity to improve their skills to make them more employable.

About David Bond: David is a director of The Wild Network, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission it is to reconnect people, particularly young people, with the natural world to have a positive impact on their wellbeing and mental health. David is also a film maker (Project Wild Thing), a campaigner and self-appointed Marketing Director for Nature.