Calderstones Park, Liverpool, has been home to our Nature4Health project ‘Story Explorers’ over the last 12 weeks. In an exciting twist on health walks, our story explorers have come along once a week to take part in a Sunday morning adventure, through the trees and green spaces of the park. Created by The Reader Organisation, Storybarn is an interactive story-centre for young people to explore, share and discover their love of books. Explorers were given the opportunity to discover the great outdoors, learning about animal habitats, questioning how trees and plants grow and how the park changes with the seasons, all whilst keeping a healthy pace along the route. By getting children out of the house and engaging them with the natural world, the Story Explorers programme is proven to have had a direct positive impact on the children’s mental wellbeing, another success for Nature4Health!
This spring, Wolf Club, set up by Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation for young people with additional needs and disabilities, teamed up with Nature4Health. Come rain or shine, every week for 12 weeks they took to the gardens of Woolston Sixth Form College to take part in a Horticultural Therapy session. Horticultural Therapy is proven to improve cognitive abilities and social skills, and has left the Wolf Club bursting with green fingers! The project has even been taken to the next step, with the weekly sessions being accompanied by cookery lessons, in which the young adults are using their own produce to cook with. If that’s not a Nature4Health success story, we don’t know what is!
Activities at the Countess
The results are in, and we’ve found that the first year of our Nature4Health project has been a resounding success.
Results from the first year of the programme show that participants have seen a marked improvement in both their mental wellbeing and their daily levels of physical activity. On average, participants saw an 8 point increase on the widely-recognised ‘WEMWBS*’ mental wellbeing scale – that’s a significant positive change. Levels of moderate physical activity – for example washing windows, or bicycling/swimming at a regular pace – increased by a whopping 164%, with walking up 48% and vigorous activity up 8%.
We’ve worked with 13 local partners across six local authorities to support 286 participants in year one of Nature4Health.
Paul Nolan, Director, The Mersey Forest, said:
“The first year results from Nature4Health are fantastic and underline the huge role that activities in green spaces can play in boosting health and wellbeing. Behind these results are some inspirational stories of how people’s lives have changed for the better. We’re aiming to work with the health sector to ensure more people can get access to this kind of natural health service in the future.”
To read the report online, click here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to everyone who came along to our Year 1 partner celebration event here at Risley Moss. It was wonderful to listen to hear how lives have been changed through Nature4Health funding from the Big Lottery, and how so many of the projects have been able to continue and grow as a result. We were delighted to be able to share with you the findings from the evaluation and monitoring programme, and discuss how we best engage with all our participants. A huge thanks to everyone who presented on the day and for your support and enthusiasm.