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NATURE PROJECT RECOGNISED FOR MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS

Posted on the 6th March 2020

An innovative ecotherapy project that connects people with wildlife and nature to help support their mental health has won a prestigious regional award.

The MyPlace project has been successfully delivered through a partnership between Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) and the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire over the past three years, helping more than 1,200 people aged from 11 to over 50 years old.

The project won the ‘Partnership in Innovation’ award at the recently held North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2020.

David Eva, Chair at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Wildlife can have a dramatic impact on helping people with their mental health and this has been proven through the success of the MyPlace project, which has been improving people’s wellbeing for more than three years. Becoming socially isolated is a huge issue in today’s society and being in nature can really help recovery, calming the mind and body. I’m delighted it has been recognised in this way and would like to thank everyone who helped make it such a huge success.”

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive such recognition for this fantastic project. We have worked tirelessly together with our NHS partners to make this a success since launching several years ago. Since then we have welcomed many individuals to the project. We know from feedback that this project is changing lives, and we want to see it not only continue, but to thrive across the North West and the model replicated across the UK.”

The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards recognises the success and the excellent work being undertaken in health care across the region on a yearly basis.

MyPlace helps young people from the age of 11 that experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. By getting involved in outdoor activities, young people can reduce their stress levels, prevent mental health problems and improve their concentration and mood.

Based across green spaces, Myplace encourages both young people and adults to reconnect to nature. Activities can include bush craft, foraging, fire and cooking, nature walks, mindfulness, growing food and cooking. People are able to choose their own tailored plan.

For more information about the Myplace project visit www.lscft.nhs.uk/myplace or www.lancswt.org.uk/myplace-project or follow us on Twitter @myplace2gr0w.

(L-R) Rhoda Wilkson, Myplace Manager - Daveen Wallis, Director of Health and Wellbeing for Lancashire Wildlife Trust - David Eva, Chairman at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust - Kevin O'Hara, Business Development at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation trust