Mindful Moment - December
Whatever your skills or background, however much time you can give, you can make a difference to nature and wildlife around us.
For this month's mindful moment we look at The Wildlife Trust and The Woodland Trust and find out how you can volunteer with your local nature spot.
Support the wild spaces around us and improve your mental health at the same time...
As New Year's resolutions go, this is a great place to start!
The Wildlife Trust
A study of Wildlife Trust volunteers showed that 95% of participants with low mental wellbeing at the start of volunteering reported an improvement in 6 weeks.
Daily contact with nature is linked to better health, reduced levels of chronic stress, reductions in obesity and improved concentration. The Wildlife Trusts are rooted in local communities and neighbourhoods, so we can help more people access local nature spots. Wildlife Trusts work in partnership with health and social care organisations, to increase their reach, and better help the people they work with.
They run projects up and down the country helping people improve the health
They look after nature reserves for people to visit and take exercise without knowing it
They help businesses and their employees improve their health and wellbeing
They continue to build the evidence that contact with wildlife is good for human health.
"Elise has been coming to Potted Histories for four years. The activities help her overcome the pain that arthritis causes her, and to cope better with her diabetes because being outside makes her feel so positive. She loves the community that the group brings her, and despite the long commute, wouldn’t miss it for the world."
Potted Histories, Peckham, London
The Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust aims to increase UK woodland cover from its current 13% of land area to 19% by 2050 to tackle the biodiversity and climate crises.
"Volunteers are crucial to The Wooldland Trust's work. We couldn’t protect and care for the UK’s woods and trees without them.
Across the UK, volunteers carry out a huge variety of roles to help plant and protect woods and trees. They spot threatened woods that need our help, spread the word about the value of woods and trees, carry out practical tasks on site and much, much more. We are grateful to every one of them."
Every volunteer has a volunteer manager, an outline of the task and a risk assessment where needed. They cover expenses and run a useful online communication platform just for volunteers.
It's a great way of meeting new people and learn new skills, and they even hold an annual awards ceremony to recognise volunteers’ huge contribution to our achievements.
Beverley, Fingle Woods Dartmoor
"It's made a difference to me in that I actually feel as if I'm doing something positive to help look after the place and that in itself is really uplifting."