Shoots of Recovery | preparing to return to work
The NatureFix service is one that’s most important to us, one we’re proud of. Had we not experienced these difficulties ourselves and found the solutions that worked so well for us, then the Human-Nature organisation 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 to help others in their recovery journeys.
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 NatureFix programme, which meshes seamlessly with a phased return-to-work, will run daily sessions for small peer groups of individuals of 4 to 6 people – all looking to successfully return to work in a mutually supportive peer environment. Our ‘green exercise’ and nature inspired ‘creative activities’ will promote rebuilding confidence and gaining work-life balance skills, for individuals who might otherwise be languishing at home, ruminating about their situation, and perhaps nervous about the prospect of returning to full time work.
Too much thinking time is not always good for mental wellbeing, and having something active and purposeful to do, can be a helpful distraction. Being around others in a similar situation, having meaningful activities to do, and being surrounded by a pleasant environment can be tremendously supportive, nurturing and healing. Much better than being sat at home alone worrying.
Also, the daily routine of getting ready to go to work falls away after a long period of absence. Our programme aims to re-establish that daily routine. Getting up and getting ready on time each day – helps to give a smoother transition back to full-time work, and our programme fits well with the usual 5 week ‘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.
Of course our programme can’t eradicate any problems or stressors that might be emanating from the workplace or home-life environment. What we can do though, is provide some third space – a neutral place to rebuild one’s wellbeing, which is neither home nor work. Our wellbeing activities allow participants the time and space they need to focus on their own wellbeing, putting them in a much stronger position to build their own resilience and coping strategies, to make their return-to-work so much easier.
Programme Taster | strong again
Prior to joining our programme (which will be 5 weeks, for around 2 hours per day, 4 days a week), we’ll invite potential participants to taster sessions. These will allow new participants to come along and sample our typical wellbeing activities with a friend or family member, or a workplace mental health champion – someone who knows them well. Tasters will give an opportunity to sample the wellbeing activities and the natural environment we’ll be using, ensuring willingness to commit to the 5 week programme.
The programme draws from a range of activities from our general portfolio of inspired by nature ‘green exercise’ and ‘arts for wellbeing’ experiences – but is specially tailored to our smaller peer group needs. These activities help the cohort to grow stronger as a group and as individuals, as they share their journeys back to work and maintaining their on-going health resilience:
- Nordic Walking – learn a new way to walk to gain whole body exercise – Be Active/Keep Learning
- Mindful Photography – get creative and take notice with landscape and macro photography – Take Notice/Be Creative
- Greenway Cycling – get connecting and active with traffic free cycling – Connect/Be Active
- Nature Conservation – give back and help care for the environment by helping maintain our adopted stretch of canal – Give/Care
All our activities will take place locally in the a beautiful canal-side setting, within the North Staffordshire/South Cheshire area. It’s a safe and nurturing environment, which will include using traffic free tow paths, farmland and woodland walks.
Our programme does requires participants to have access to suitable transport and to be able to meet at the canal-side venue, throughout the duration of the programme.
The pilot programme is funded through The National Lottery Community Fund, is planned to commence from September 2019, and will be free to participants for the duration of the pilot, becoming a chargeable service longer term.
Contact Us now if you’d like to know more.
More details for employers and occupational health providers can be found on our employer information page.