Projects we are currently working on:
Nature Forest School
Several projects are planned on a beautiful organic farm involving inviting children and adults into the great outdoors to learn new skills and improve community life, especially those more disadvantaged. The projects will:
A report published 9 February 2016,shows that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. The report A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care suggests making greater use of ‘green care’ to help people suffering from mental ill-health. The new review was commissioned by Natural England from the University of Essex and Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity. Mental ill-health is on the rise and in England it is estimated that in any one year at least 1 in 4 people will experience a ‘significant’ mental health problem. The new report suggests that green care interventions can provide an increasingly important and cost-effective way of supporting mental health services. The report presents evidence that shows that projects in each of these areas are already making a difference to people’s lives and bring a range of positive benefits for those with existing mental ill health. These include a reduction in depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, and an improvement in dementia-related symptoms. The report also shows that people involved in these types of green care activities have a greatly increased level of social contact and inclusion; as well as a sense of belonging and personal achievement.
By developing connections with the local environment we also begin to live in ways that support those environments. Raising awareness of our connection to the natural world is a very effective way of changing our way of thinking. Enveloping ourselves in the rhythms and forms of nature can be transformative and healing. By being more aware of the body processes we can break habitual processes. Slowing the body slows the mind giving space to listen to what happens spontaneously.
Community Health and Wellbeing Centre
A centre in a small town which has a high percentage of low waged and unemployment. The centre will allow access to health and wellbeing services such as complementary health care and exercise classes that they would otherwise not be able to afford or experience. The services provided will be tailored to empower and teach people skills to take away to do at home so they can take control of their own health and wellbeing. For example:
Exercise classes to assist with weight control and joint pain/mobility.
Dietary workshops to help with weight control and symptom management.
Lifestyle workshops to help people make better choices.
Offer complementary healthcare to those suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.
Women's Domestic Violence
A local Council was providing counselling and complementary health care to women sufferers of domestic abuse. The women were directed to the service by their safe houses. Sadly the funding has been cut. We would like to reinstate the complementary healthcare service provided to the women.
We are liaising with a GP regarding patients who are regular to the surgery and have long-term unresolved problems. The GP is willing to refer to our practitioner if funding can be sourced. If successful, this could be rolled out across other GP surgeries thus relieving some pressure on the NHS.
A small village which has no community facilities whatsoever apart from a Village Hall that has very little use is extremely keen to establish a community orchard. The orchard will bring together the community, provide a facility for people to have a source of fresh fruit free of charge, provide a platform for community events such as cider making days, and educational events such as cooking with fruit. The community will also be charged with general maintenance of the orchard - strimming round trees, collecting up fruit, trimming branches - giving the community a chance to enjoy the open space, great outdoors and gain exercise.
We are also in discussions with practitioners on further projects:
Practitioners who are also trained chefs. Combining the skills to provide a complementary health service and dietary service to communities to maybe help people take control of their diet? Help with obesity, diabetes etc.
Several practitioners are skilled in maternity. We are looking at ways in which we may be able to help communities with post-natal depression, mother/baby relationships and such like.
Create a Nature Forest School for children to learn skills such as cooking, making tools, foraging, and play. Thus improving health and wellbeing by connecting with nature, participating in outdoor activities, developing new skills, and gaining a knowledge of their natural environment.
Create an organic orchard and allotment with the long-term aim of selling the produce grown.
Work with young people to show how resilience is built into natural systems and how this can be used to build resilience into their own lives. The aim being to reduce crime.
Carry out field observations and habitat surveys to show people the importance of green space/exercise, outdoor play and foster a love for the great outdoors.
Develop an agro forestry project to increase diversification.