These sessions are focused on the five ways to wellbeing and included simple activities that NHS staff could do in their breaks and free time.
The groups participated in three activities, the first two aimed to deepen participant’s connection to nature whilst also providing them with ways to relax and gain mindful moments throughout the day, this was achieved by finding patterns in nature as well as doing walking meditation.
The final activity undertaken was doing a biodiversity survey of the various Derbyshire Community Health Service (DCHS) sites, these were important to both create a database of what species are present on each site but to also give staff members the opportunity to explore the natural spaces where they work
These sessions have been greatly beneficial to the teams that have been able to participate, for instance many of these teams have been unable to meet for over a year and these sessions have given them the opportunity to come together as a team. Furthermore, it has provided team members with and insight into wild wellbeing and some skills in how to look after their own wellbeing as well as deepening their connection to nature. Finally, through these sessions we identified some of the vast variety of species present on DCHS sites and helped the staff feel confident in noticing and identifying them.
Following sessions, the Trust invites participants to give feedback so they are able to measure whether or not their work is having an impact. Comments included:
- “it was very relaxing and calming to be out doing this”
- “it was great fun”
- “I can’t believe how much nature is actually in our site”
- “I’ve worked hear for ages and I’ve never noticed all of the fruit trees before”
Cadent Foundation Director, Julia Dwyer added: Research shows that getting out into nature can reduce stress, make people feel happier, making it easier to interact with others and reduce isolation. It’s wonderful to see NHS staff taking part in the wellbeing sessions which not only help them, but also demonstrates the many benefits that can potentially be offered to their patients through the NHS green social prescribing programme.”
The Cadent Foundation is funded by local gas network Cadent, and has been established to support projects large and small that help people living in vulnerable situations and energy poor communities; protect and preserve the natural environment and support in creating a sustainable energy future for all. More information can be found at www.cadentfoundation.com