This 12-month ‘Nature’s Tonic’ project will pilot an approach to increasing low-impact, social outdoor activities and a ‘connection with nature’ to improve the mental health and wellbeing of less active adults in the North Devon community. The project will provide training, support and taster sessions to staff and volunteers running social and support groups. It is designed to complement social prescribing activity being piloted across three GP areas in Barnstaple, Braunton and Ilfracombe. This builds on research evidence that being outdoors can improve mental and physical health.
The project started in November 2019 and Stage 1 completed the initial development and engagement stage but was temporarily halted in March 2020 by the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions. Following consultations with the target audience and taking into account the consequences of Covid-19 restrictions, the project restarted with some amendments in early 2021.
- To engage existing groups in the community, voluntary and statutory sectors to participate in the project
- To provide the necessary support, training, inspiration and connections for groups to get outdoors more, whether at the local park or a trip to the seaside
- To support ‘taster green/blue sessions’ for staff and volunteers with their client group, to access the natural environment and connect with nature
- To better understand and address the barriers to outdoor activities working with local group organisers and volunteers
- To recruit, train and support local volunteers to provide a buddying service or a connecting with nature service
For more information about the Nature’s Tonic project contact Phil Rowtcliff of Vista Wellbeing CIC on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. 07900 041258