The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely affected communities, isolating people from family, friends and activities that previously supported them. The impact of nature and participation in arts, nature and physical activities on wellbeing has never been so important.

In partnership with Stepping into Nature, Active Dorset and Help & Care, we are delivering Nature Buddies: re-connecting to nature through activity, a year-long programme to upskill existing voluntary and community groups to deliver inclusive and creative nature-themed local activities for people who are referred by their Link Workers.

Together we will deliver:

  • a series of training sessions around equality and diversity, mental health and dementia awareness
  • taster sessions for community groups with ideas on how to enhance their activities
  • sessions for Link Workers to learn about available local activities and the benefits they have to offer
  • training of 30 volunteer Nature Buddies to help provide access to these activities for people with high anxiety and low levels of confidence

The project has been made possible with a grant from the Thriving Communities Fund awarded by The National Academy of Social Prescribing.

What is Social Prescribing?

In social prescribing, health professionals such as GPs, refer patients to support in the community, in order to improve their health and wellbeing. Most GP practices now have what’s known as a Link Worker. Link Workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.

 

photo (c) Steph Aburrow