About UsWho are Float in the Forest?
Who are Float in the Forest?
Float in the Forest is the collaboration of Will Griffin and Shari Vandervelde (with a little help from their wonderful dog Ivor in the first year).
Shari and Will first met as teenagers, and have been on a path together ever since!
Who is Will?
Will has wandered through faith, reason, scepticism and transcendence, with plenty of adventures along the way.
He first discovered floating in London, in 1999 thanks to a coincidental (?) combination of a party, the book ‘The Centre of the Cyclone’, and Floatworks. You can read about his first floating experience here. He soon persuaded Shari to try it as well.
Will likes to build things that work. He may deny it, but he is a computer whizz and brings a wealth of logical thinking and technical wizardry to the Float in the Forest venture. Will feels grounded in awareness of the physical movements of the body, and enjoys climbing and mountain biking. He is pleasantly surprised when he remembers to have his mind and body in the same place.
Who is Shari?
Shari has worked in a variety of settings within the criminal justice system and the community, helping and empowering people. She works best when focused on a cause which gets her excited, and Float in the Forest certainly does that!
Shari has always enjoyed pampering and spa experiences. When she developed a back problem a few years ago, she discovered the power of floating and other alternative treatments to help. More recently Shari has discovered that floating is very effective at calming her busy mind.
Shari relishes organising things behind the scenes and is a devil for a spreadsheet. Nonetheless she can also be a social butterfly, so will often be found raising Float in the Forest’s profile on social media and in person. Shari enjoys yoga and food in equal balance.
Why the Forest of Dean?
Shari and Will moved to the Forest of Dean in 2011, having discovered a love for the landscape here. Will, Shari and Ivor all enjoyed walking and running together amongst the trees.
It took a little while for them to find themselves in this new and unusual place, but then as if by magic, it all started coming together.
Will and Shari had continued floating on and off over the years, in various places around the UK, and also the USA. It was something they loved doing personally, but were starting to also build a dream of bringing the benefits of floatation to more people. They looked for floatation and found there was nothing available in this area.
Where did Float in the Forest come from?
As time went on, Shari and Will realised that they could combine their skills and passions in this new venture. What’s more, they realised that this special corner of the world would be a wonderful place for a float centre, as you could emerge from your float and go to explore this beautiful natural environment. And so Float in the Forest was born…
Shari and Will love the adventure of bringing the experience of floating to other people… and they’re looking forward to meeting you!
Who was Ivor?
Ivor the border collie joined the team in 2012. He was a beautiful and gentle, if slightly obsessive beast, with many friends in the Forest – a bit of a legend, some might say.
He sometimes made an appearance as Ivor the Float Dog. We know that many of you loved seeing him at the float centre, and he loved seeing you too. His effusive greeting and love of play and cuddles helped relax and calm lots of people upon arrival, and he both enjoyed this and seemed to feel it was his job. Every stranger was a new friend.
After a short illness Ivor passed away peacefully on 1st May 2020. He lived a beautiful life, full of joy and fun. He was not only our best friend, but also a fine member of the Float in the Forest team, and will be sorely missed by all.
Ivor taught us a lot, and we are full of gratitude for what he brought to the world. We aim to honour his memory by continuing to serve our community with the same devotion which he showed to us and everyone he met.
RIP Ivor the Float Dog.
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