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 are delivering:

  • 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

Our aim is to create a social prescribing ‘ecosystem’ across Dorset and BCP Council areas that will continue to function long after the initial project comes to an end.

Training Sessions now available

Please note our training is free but must be booked in advance. Click on the links below to sign up.

Mental Health Awareness Training with Dorset Mind
with Liz Clough. See Eventbrite link for available dates.
An online training session on Zoom, aimed at the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector to upskill community organisations to deliver social prescribing activities in their local area. This blended learning course increases delegates’ mental health awareness. Delegates will explore their own mental health and the impact it has on their lives in and out of the workplace. The role of stigma and misconceptions about mental ill health on our willingness to talk openly about mental health will be discussed, and the language that we use in our conversations about mental health and that we see in the media. This training encourages delegates to explore what is happening for them, as well as what may be happening in their colleagues’ work and personal lives.
Click on the link above to sign up for free via Eventbrite.

Inclusivity and Diversity Training
with Nathalie Sherring. See Eventbrite link for available dates.
An online training session on Zoom, aimed at the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector to upskill community organisations to deliver social prescribing activities in their local area. You will discover through a series of discussions how you can improve your relationships with people by understanding how you relate to those people and what makes you react in different ways depending on people you meet. Nathalie is Chief Officer at the Dorset Race Equality Council, with a background in community and equality development project management.
Click on the link above to sign up for free via Eventbrite.

Find out more

More information about this project is also available at www.helpandkindness.co.uk/thriving-communities

If you are a Link Worker and would like to find out more and access resources, click here

If you are interested in becoming a Nature Buddy Volunteer you can find out more here

If you are member of a local group from the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector and would like your group to get involved in the project you can find out more here

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.

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

photo (c) Steph Aburrow