The HMRC Registered Charity Hug a Tree UK was formed in order to teach young children how to stay safe in both the rural and urban environments in the event that they become separated from their parent or gaurdian.

The UK Hug a Tree was based on the American model which is well established and forms a vital element of the Search and Rescue (SAR) organisations. It is also well established in Canada where it is under the management of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The philosophy and teaching techniques were developed following the death of a young child, Jimmy Beveridge, who went missing and was found deceased after four days of intensive searching by SAR and other search participants. We were very pleased and proud to have Jimmy's parents as the Patrons of the UK Hug a Tree Programme. Unfortunately despite much effort by the small management team, we have due to a number of reasons, resource and personal, had to cease our activities and bring an end to Hug a Tree here in the UK.

From our fund raising activities we had a sum of unspent funds for which we needed to find a similarly minded charity to whom we could donate these funds to. After much research and comparison we decided that the most appropriate and worthy cause is The Forces Children's Trust. I contacted the CEO, Denny Wise and together with David Ivatt of Hug a Tree we duly met with Denny at Epsom on the 30th September where we had a very useful and interesting exchange of information culminating in David Ivatt passing a cheque, the balance of Hug a Tree funds, to Denny Wise. I headed this article Mixed Feelings, for David Ivatt and myself it was a sad day in that it marked the final chapter of Hug a Tree in the UK but we were equally pleased to have established a relationship with Denny Wise and to know that albeit limited, the cheque will be put to very good use. The photo is of David Ivatt passing the cheque to Denny Wise. We wish all those associated with The Forces Children's Trust well, the work that you are doing is so important.

Os Oliver Former Chairman of Hug a Tree UK.

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E-mail: dwise@forceschildrenstrust.org
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