Nature-based Practice & Green Care

Children's Mental Health Week

We know that access to nature is not equal for everyone. The statistics are pretty stark – One in eight households has no access to a private or shared garden and this is particularly likely to be true of people living in urban areas – for example, 21% of Londoners do not have a garden. If you have a long-term illness or condition, it gets worse. (Natural England, 2020d).

We won!

Since 2004 Circle of Life Rediscovery has been raising funds and working alongside different teams across the National Health Service to bring the outdoors to as many groups as possible.

We are proud to let you know we have just once again won ‘Therapeutic Services Provider of the Year 2022/3’ in the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards.

Therapeutic Services of the Year Award

There has been a big change in the last 20 years.   Back in 2010, there was no such thing as green interventions, green care, or green prescriptions.

Back then, we worked at grass roots level.  Health practitioners, social workers, who had a case load of young people struggling at school or with their mental health challenges joined us in the woods.   We learned how to write funding bids and when successful, co-produced the days, programmes or camps with the groups.  The intention is always to listen to the needs of the person, their ideas and find out what they think is working.

And then the feedback came.  Sometimes life changing, sometimes a new perspective, and always without doubt, a positive experience.

Funded projects

The idea that people are people is so simple that we often forget the power of being in a group, where you can slowly be yourself and comfortable.   Facilitation skills are important, creating a safe space too, but the outdoors supports multiple benefits.    Nature is one of the most powerful spaces for healing to occur.  Its softer, less judgemental and we receive things that are not clearly communication – below the brain.   You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to.  Though, you don’t feel you are not alone.

Green Care Programmes

We have raised well over £500, 000 to support young people who are supported by the Child and Adolescent Mental Services – this year our ‘Nature Space’ is beginning in April! Our flagship project, ‘The woodland project’, named by the families, is still running.  We work with CAMHS-Family Intensive Support Service – Learning Disability and their families.  I love that one of the Family Workers, calls them ‘our families’, it’s a meaningful relationship, one which is extended by the woods.

The Early Psychosis programme – what better to have a ‘nature space’ to come to, after going through a psychotic episode. Your life is changed, but somehow the natural world helps.

Our play safe days, during Covid, were a lifeline for families.

Funded logos

New Funded Programmes

The Dementia Programme – Nature Wellbeing – continues for carers and their loved one with Dementia.  They can come and have company, and share cooking, crafting, laughing and be with friends – human and non-human. Our next programme starts on 14th April 2023, with our introduction morning on 10th March 2023. Find the details here.

Our Nature Space Programme for teens starts 25th April 2023 with our taster session on 14th March. 2023. We are warmly inviting 12-20 year olds to come and join us in taking a couple of hours away from your usual routine, to be outside in nature. Learn new craft & woodland skills, take time to connect with nature and ourselves to support our wellbeing and support simple conservation ideas. Find out more here.

If you would like to register your place or find out more please contact Marina Robb for an informal chat.

Certificate in Nature-based Practice 

It’s no surprise that nature-based therapeutic interventions, available in Green Social Prescribing, are on the increase. Nature connection is a powerful therapeutic tool for supporting people living with a wide range of mental and physical health conditions

And that more and more professionals want to incorporate nature-based treatment into their practices.

As an organisation we are part of a growing community of practitioners who want to transform education and health through nature.  We believe that people who train to teach or nurse us, would benefit from having the knowledge and skills to take their practice out of doors.

We are now offering a high-quality training for health professionals ‘Certificate in Nature-based Practice’. This course is aimed a professionals who wish to learn the tools, techniques, skills and confidence to take their practice into the natural environment, whether you work with children, youths or adults.

Enrol on this course and you’ll be trained by Marina Robb and Jon Cree who each have over 30 years experience in green prescriptions and interventions.

Visit the website to find out more!

Thank you all for your support and we look forward to seeing you in the woods soon.

About the Author

Marina Robb

Marina Robb (Bsc; PGCE; MA; Msc; Author) is Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery Community Interest Company and The Outdoor Teacher Ltd, both leading organisations that aim to transform education and health through nature.

Marina has more than 30 years’ experience in outdoor learning and nature connection. She provides a deep understanding of effective nature education at all levels and for a range of diverse backgrounds.