Greenspace-based activities have an important role to play in supporting wider community and public health, with everyday contact with nature having a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing and reducing stress. This is backed up by a growing evidence base from organisations including the World Health Organisation and NICE that shows contact with nature and access to greenspace is good for our health.
We are delighted to be able to support a range of projects that help people take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of being in nature. Here are some highlights:
Supporting active travel through secure bike storage.
We funded £90K of improvements to bike storage facilities at RIE following an increase in bike thefts and are continuing to work on wider active travel plans across NHS Lothian sites, taking forward the Spaces for People project in partnership with Sustrans.
Supporting health and wellbeing through transforming outdoor spaces.
We funded new benches and parasols at East Lothian Community Hospital to help give staff access to a comfortable and welcoming outdoor space to rest, relax and take some much-needed time out from long and busy shifts.
Using outdoor spaces to support mindfulness activities and reduce stress.
As well as providing funding for RIE’s garden project, our Green Health Programme Manager also provided advice and guidance on how best to convert the garden space. The team then worked together to get the garden ready and make the place their own.
The RIE team is also using this space to engage team members in therapeutic activities during breaktimes, using arts and crafts as a way to support positive mental health and wellbeing.
Supporting projects that help those living in urban settings to access nature on their doorstep.
We are excited to have supported Urban Good to produce an urban map of Edinburgh so that those living in the City can also access the therapeutic benefits of nature.
Image credit: Charlie Peel and Rob Bushby, www.urbangood.org
Making the most of NHS Lothian’s green space.
We are delighted to have worked with and supported NHS Lothian to commission a Biodiversity Audit by Natural Capital Solutions which, as well as recognising the potential of the estate as an environmental asset, also recognises it as a community and health asset.
Image credit: Will Collier
Prescribing nature to support health and wellbeing.
Inspired by growing evidence that connecting with nature makes us healthier and happier, we worked with RSPB Scotland and five GP Practices across the region to support a pilot which investigates the positive impact of including nature prescriptions as part of a patient’s overall treatment.
Image credit: Elaine Bradley
Image credit: Header image, Will Collier