Hattie Duke and the first sparks of inspiration…
The initial embers of Firelight began…..well, probably in my own childhood, at a rural school drawing bluebells in beech woods. The embers brightened during my trip to Peru as an eighteen year old: taking delighted children to swim in the sea, then experiencing the overwhelming beauty and challenges of both Andes and Amazon. Travels, teaching and exploring nature in Europe, India, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa kept the inspiration bright. However Firelight really began to be fanned into flames when I moved to Herefordshire nearly 10 years ago to follow my curiosity (and degree in Waldorf Education) about holistic state funded education.
After four years of practical, emotional, and academic adventures with children at the Hereford Waldorf School/Steiner Academy Hereford, I took a leap of faith to embrace the opportunity to further develop what had been a growing passion: learning in nature.
I started to run my own nature activities workshops and camps. I completed the Pyrites Practical Skills for Teachers course and later the Forest School Level 3 training and took more time to visit educational settings in the UK and overseas.
I wanted to combine my experience, training and ultimately belief in the principles of Waldorf Education with my fascination of the world around us. I wanted to follow my conviction that time in nature and time spent working with natural materials provides a vital balance to an increasingly technologically focused world. A conviction that is increasingly supported by research, for example Richard Louv writings on Nature Deficit Disorder.
On my travels into Mexico and the South West of the United States I came across the Art of Mentoring. I was comforted and inspired to realise that some of what I had already been doing was validated by Jon Young’s evidence of improvement in behaviour and self-esteem of young people.
So, slowly and steadily Firelight grew into a hearth around which a few began to gather…
Matias (Mati) Serra Delmar
Mati has been helping Hattie for the last few years working as an occasional assistant on some of the courses organized by Firelight. Mati is also known as Hattie and Mati because it sounds great. He is currently working as the Publicity manager/Web Designer/Photographer. Mati is an artist based in Herefordshire since November 2015 and works from his studio producing colourful paintings and drawings. Please visit his website www.matiasserradelmar.co.uk to see what he does.
Lisandro Serra Delmar
Engaged to be married to Hattie 1st September 2018! Ninja extraordinaire! Look out for new adventures they might create together! www.gauchoninja.com
Artist of Firelight’s poster: www.franceswhitfield.co.uk
Co-creator of Firelight Summer Foray, widely travelled and experienced teacher, Waldorf trained, inspired and inspiring friend and colleague….
Estrella Feliz (Happy Star) to call her by her full name adopted Hattie 3 years ago when she was a puppy. Her mother is a small white jack Russell who looks like a small sheep and her father is a black and tan working border collie sheep dog. She is full of joy and has spent the whole of her life around children of all ages. She adores them. In fact, she pretty much adores anyone she meets, be it on a train, a boat, in a woodland, climbing up a mountain….
She and Hattie and Lisandro live part time in Felicity, a tiny house on wheels by a pond, near a woodland, in the Herefordshire’s Golden Valley and part time in yurt in La Garrotxa, the volcanic national park of Catalunya, Spain