NATUREFIX FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING - COED LLEOL
The Naturefix for Health and Wellbeing cooperation project by Coed Lleol, delivered in Ceredigion, Merthyr and Neath Port Talbot aimed to integrate, promote and develop social prescribing to outdoor health & Wellbeing more fully into the health sector in Wales.
The project not only addressed the gap in digital engagement that, in the modern world, is key to promoting the role that nature can play in both mental and physical health, but also piloted the development of new digital resources as a tool for sharing experience and learning.
Through the work undertaken as part of this project, over 223 potential health and wellbeing professionals were connected with, and as a result of this, there has been an increased number of referrals.
The success of the Naturefix project has provided a model to roll out this to other areas which has resulted in an increased interest in referring to the activities and allows the project to work with referrers to find innovative ways to collaborate and work together to meet need.
Additionally, the benefits of the project activities have been:
Digital Skills Share – development & partnership
The six digital seminars that connected Coed Lleol with Green Care Finland Green Care Finland allowed the organisation to share practice and better understand mechanisms used for social prescribing in each country. All the sessions aimed at developing new skills, sharing practice and strengthening connections between organisations and across cultures and international borders.
Partnership & Promotion
The local approach focused on attracting health and social care professionals to experience outdoor health using the woods first-hand so that they can experience and hear about the benefits and build confidence in referring to similar activities. Research has shown that a lack of understanding of the concept of outdoor health often acts as a barrier to referrals. To tackle this, 5 immersive sessions were undertaken, with the sessions targeted local health and mental health service professionals including GPs, NHS mental health teams, Community Coordinators and Third Sector referral agencies.
Following the sessions in Ceredigion, Ceredigion Actif Woods have started a programme with Ceredigion day services. Additionally, the has been able to spotlight the Trywydd Iach (Outdoor Health) project in Ceredigion, run by local organisation Eco Dyfi with support from Coed Lleol – Small Woods, which connects participants to a range of outdoor activities in the area (animal-assisted therapy, walking groups, woodland groups, and conservation groups).
As part of the project, numerous films and short videos were created by a professional film maker Mike Erskine of Reconnect in Nature, showcasing how woodland wellbeing activities are delivered, depicting the activities in action and the impact on participants from their perspective. The short films and videos can be seen below:
- Woodlands for Wellbeing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnLQXPGQB-s
Additionally, 3 case studies were created as part of the project to highlight its success which can be seen by clicking here.