Menter Môn has joined forces with local healthcare professionals and Linc Cymunedol Môn, to offer green prescribing sessions to support health and wellbeing in the Beaumaris area of Anglesey.
Working with local GPs, and the social prescribing service the scheme refers patients to nature-based activity sessions in Aberlleiniog woodland, within the local nature reserve in Llangoed. The initiative is part of the Cwlwm Seiriol project and encourages people to engage with their natural surroundings to improve their mental and physical health. Participants take part in low-level physical activity as well as learn woodland craft skills and carry out conservation tasks.
Delyth Phillipps, project officer with Menter Môn said: “It has long been known that regular physical activity has many health benefits and is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. We are lucky to be based in such a beautiful area with so many opportunities for outdoor activities – so, it makes sense that we make the most of this to rehabilitate and help people.
“The programme incorporates the Five Ways to Wellbeing. These are simple actions we can all do to boost our wellbeing – keep active, connect with other people, take notice of surroundings, keep learning and volunteer. We understand that not everyone is confident enough take part in exercise on their own so Green Prescribing lets people start with slower-paced activities such as walking and conservation tasks. Most or our work is within a group setting so, has the added benefit of encouraging social interaction.”
The results and feedback from participants have been overwhelmingly positive with 36 people taking part so far and six going on to volunteer with the project. One person talks about their experience: “I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this programme, it’s amazing what we’ve been doing. I love being outside, all my worries seem to disappear and the weather doesn’t even mater – we dress up warm and just get on with it.”
Another added: “I was referred to the scheme through the gym and I was happy to sign up. Every week we take part in different activities. Mentally I feel so much better, the pain I had is much better, I feel less pressure and am even eating more healthily.”
Getting people to take an interest and making the most of their local environment has been central to The Cwlwm Seiriol project since it was established. Delyth adds: “Our aim has always been to connect people in the Seiriol Ward area to their natural surroundings. As well as encouraging locals to look after community green spaces through volunteering, we were also keen through Green Prescribing to promote the wellbeing benefits of spending time outdoors. The scheme lets us track progress, so we can measure the benefit to those taking part.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Green Prescribing Programme through the Cwlwm Seiriol project should contact Delyth Phillipps on 07815 709240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org