Shoots of Recovery | preparing to return
In many respects our ‘recovery and resilience’ service is the one that’s most important to us – the one we’re most proud of! Had we not experienced these difficulties ourselves and found solutions that worked well for us, then Human-Nature wouldn’t be here today.
We’re so convinced of the benefits of getting outdoors has, both for emotional as well as physical wellbeing, that we formed this organisation. To continue to help ourselves, but now help others in their recoveries.
We firmly believe that the green shoots of recovery can be found ‘out there’ in nature – and we want to help others find them too.
Our intervention runs daily sessions for small groups with regular ‘green exercise’ and nature inspired ‘creative activities’ which promote recovery for individuals who might otherwise be stuck at home, often on their own, ruminating about their situation.
Too much thinking time is not always good for mental wellbeing, and having something active and purposeful to do, can distract us away from troubling thoughts. Being around other people, having meaningful activities to do, and being surrounded by a pleasant environment can be tremendously supportive, nurturing and even healing. Much better than being sat at home alone worrying, we think.
Also the usual pattern and routine of going to work can get broken and fall away with longer periods of absence from work. Our programme aims to mend and re-establish those daily routines. Getting up and getting ready on time each day – helps to give a smoother transition back to work and our programme fits well with the ‘phased return to work’ model.
By and large attending work is actually good for most people’s mental health – feeling sufficiently stretched, needed and valued. So getting back to work in a sensibly managed way is often the best for the individual, providing of course that any unreasonable work stressors emanating from the job role or working relationships are properly addressed, as part of the return to work process.
Of course we can’t fix any problems inside the workplace (that’s the employer’s duty of care), but we can certainly help people to build their own resilience and coping strategies outside of the workplace environment, making that return easier.
Programme Taster | strong again
Prior to joining our programme (which is typically 10 weeks, for 3 hours per day, 4 days a week), we invite potential future participants to taster sessions. These allow new participants to come along and sample our typical activities with a friend, family member or colleague – someone who knows them well. It also provides re-assurance, and gives time to assess together, whether we all feel that our programme is suitable and right for them as an individual.
Activities on the taster sessions involve sample activities from the full programme. The full programme offers activities from our general portfolio of inspired by nature ‘green exercise’ and ‘arts for wellbeing’ experiences – but is specially tailored to our smaller target group needs. These activities help the cohort to grow stronger as a group and as individuals, as they share their journeys back to recovery and health resilience:
- Natter in Nature – social walking (and chat) through local landscapes – Connect
- Nordic Walking – learning basic Nordic walking technique – Be Active
- Greenway Cycling – cycling (on mountain bikes) along non-challenging green space tracks – Be Active
- Mindful Photography – nature/macro photography walks appreciating nature and season’s change – Take Notice
- Community Gardening – supporting local green spaces to flourish – Give
- Nature Conservation – joining local countryside rangers to support local landscapes and wildlife – Care
- Poetry Walks – creativity walks, finding words to capture local landscapes and heritage in writing poems – Be Creative
- Letterboxing – creative problem solving and treasure hunt type walks – Be Creative
All our activities take place in the Staffordshire/South Cheshire region, at a range of different green space venues, all chosen for their suitability for our clients.
For the moment this service is therefore only available to employees of local organisations (within the Staffordshire/South Cheshire area), and within reasonable travel distance to us. Our programme does requires participants to have access to suitable transport and to be able to meet at the various green space venues, throughout the duration of the programme.