Lancashire Wildlife and NHS Trusts team up to bring health and happiness through nature in online project
A project set up to use nature and the outdoors to help with mental health is continuing online during the coronavirus pandemic.
Myplace, an ecotherapy project set up by Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, has provided nature-themed sessions for mental health and well-being since 2016.
Before the Government's lockdown guidelines were enforced amid the coronavirus pandemic, Myplace sessions were held at outdoor 'hubs' around Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
But now the Trusts have created a programme of online ecotherapy sessions using a secure online platform, to enable Lancashire residents to continue accessing them.
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Rhoda Wilkinson, manager at Myplace, said: "Usually, we encourage our participants to put their phones and laptops to one side and to embrace the full benefits of being out in nature.
"We might take a wildlife walk or learn to cook over a campfire. Learning things, creating things, giving something back to nature, and spending quality time outside - these are all proven ways of supporting our mental health and what our Myplace project is all about.
"Whilst following government guidelines on social distancing we are now able to offer the opportunity to bring Myplace into people's homes by making positive use of technology."
The 90 minute sessions are available once a week and are run by staff trained in mental health first aid, giving people the chance to learn about nature and well-being.
Examples of activities included in the sessions are making bird feeders, or sketching from nature.
The sessions are free and available to anyone over the age of 16. You can register your interest by completing a self-referral form here.