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Recovery - Idle Valley Needs Your Votes!

Thursday 7th May

Recovery - Idle Valley Needs Your Votes!

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Recovery ecotherapy project, based at Idle Valley Nature Reserve near Retford, is an award-winning therapeutic conservation and horticultural service for people in Bassetlaw experiencing mental health problems.

Initially funded by Ecominds, a partnership between Mind and the Big Lottery Fund, the project now needs more funds to continue supporting local people.

Recovery has been successful in being included in the Aviva Community Fund but it needs the public’s support through voting. The more votes the project gets the better as the top few will then be put forward to a final panel of judges to award the £10,000.

All you need to do is go to register your email to gain 10 votes to use.

Service users of Recovery come from all over Bassetlaw and beyond, typically self-referred or via their GP, Community Psychiatric Nurse, or social worker. Some come with PTSD, others with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or even no firm diagnosis at all.

The project provides the opportunity for individuals to learn new skills and develop a pathway to achieving their recovery goals using practical ecotherapy techniques in a friendly, safe and healthy environment at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve, near Retford run by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Service users meet new people and gain confidence in a beautiful and inspiring natural setting, supported by trained, understanding staff and volunteers, whose aim is to help and encourage people to make the most of their time with the project. Service users learn new skills in gardening and conservation whilst benefiting from healthy exercise. The group grow organic vegetables which are used in the café within the Rural Learning Centre and sold to the public. Service users also take part in rural craft workshops using sustainably sourced materials they’ve grown and managed and use these skills to produce items and explore ways to use these products to generate funds for the project, and support the wider management of the nature reserves. From food growing, to woodland management, to beekeeping - we provide a range of inspiring activities.

A spokesperson for the Wildlife Trust said: “Our services are having a significant positive impact on participants, with 88% reporting improvements to their mental wellbeing after attending the project. Feedback from participants tells us that the benefits are wide-reaching, including: gaining new experiences and skills, being part of something that is valued. We are also successful in working with individuals who have found it difficult to engage in traditional treatment options.”

The Wildlife Trust believes that the non-hierarchical, non-clinical approach where everyone has something to offer promotes friendship, peer support, physical health improvements, increased confidence. There is a growing body of evidence for the therapeutic benefits of outdoor activity for mental health, showing that these activities can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate anxiety and depression. It also has the wider benefit of encouraging social inclusion and progression into further volunteering or work opportunities.

To show your support by voting for the Recovery – Idle Valley project before 30th May 2015 visit search for Recovery.

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