We are exceptionally pleased to announce that our Ecotherapy Programme has been refunded by Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities for a further five years! Over the last three years this project has supported over 242 individuals to improve both their mental and physical wellbeing through outdoor activity underpinned by a one-to-one tailored mentoring programme.
This project demonstrated key improvements for participants in the following areas: reduction in stress levels, reduced feelings of depression and anxiety, improved self-esteem, increased levels of physical activity, enhanced social interactions and peer relationships, confidence increased through learning new skills and improved feelings of happiness. Over the last year more than 90% of our beneficiaries have reported marked improvements in their mental wellbeing.
We have exceeded even our own expectations and have seen the impact of how meaningful and effective the programme can be in the lives of participants. Attending sessions at St Nicks is a real point of progression for many of them and a true transition into a community setting, where people come together for their common interest in nature rather than focusing solely on mental health recovery. We are looking forward to continuing supporting people through this project one plant at a time.
This is how one of our Woodwork participants summed up how the programme’s helped him: “I just wanted to thank you for letting me join Ecotherapy, I’m getting so much benefit from it. My depression and anxiety have been so bad lately. Just walking into St Nicks lifts me now. Thank you also for the invaluable mentoring time you’ve spent with me. I now feel a bit of hope that life can be different and better for me.’’