3rd January 2023
Health, voluntary and community organisations across North Cumbria are working together to encourage more people to access the outdoors and benefit from the positive effects of the natural world around them.
Money from the North East and North Cumbria ICB has established the Green Social Prescribing Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation. Grants of up to £5,000 are available to charitable organisations in North Cumbria to provide nature-based activities, which have been shown to help people improve their health and wellbeing.
Activities could be anything from local walking groups, community garden projects, and talking and exercise therapies but projects that target specific groups of people will be prioritised, such as those with chronic health conditions including cancer, respiratory, hypertension; refugees; ethnically diverse people; LGBTQ or Gypsy, Romaine, Traveller (GRT).
Groundwork North East & Cumbia is supporting charitable groups to develop their projects and improve networks and referral pathways with Social Prescribing Connector teams.
Working across North Cumbria, Groundwork will ensure the programme will increase knowledge and awareness of nature-based activities, highlighting some of the excellent new and existing projects, as well as ensuring that those who prescribe into the programme are fully informed of what’s on offer.
Craig Drummond, Employment Programmes Manager at Groundwork, said: “This programme is designed to bring those together who socially prescribe with those who deliver nature-based solutions across Cumbria. Specifically, underserved populations in North Cumbria that are at risk of experiencing health inequalities, to improve their mental wellbeing and overall health.
“There is consistent evidence that engagement with nature is beneficial in terms of physical activity and increased mental wellbeing. This programme will bring together those who refer in and those who deliver green and blue social prescribing services, as well as identifying current gaps and barriers to access existing provision and taking positive action to overcome those.”
Sarah Thompson, Grants & Programmes Officer, said: “We are fortunate to have access to some world-renowned green and blue spaces in Cumbria and we are delighted to be working in partnership to improve health and wellbeing, mental health and ensure those at risk of experiencing health inequalities have equal access to nature-based therapies and activities.”