£10k grant boosts outdoor activity sessions for disadvantaged individuals

A Ceredigion charity is to provide free outdoor wellbeing activities to isolated and disadvantaged individuals thanks to funding from the Caring Communities Innovation Scheme.

Aberystwyth-based Tir Coed will offer courses ranging from willow weaving and outdoor skills to den-making and adventure games to 80 individuals, including ex Services personnel, carers, isolated women, neurodivergent learners and youngsters considered “at-risk” after receiving £9,785 from the fund.

Each of the ten sessions will each offer around eight individuals the chance to take part in outdoor activities tailored to meet their circumstances alongside others in a similar situation.

The activities will be designed to ensure participants can enjoy the mental and physical benefits of spending meaningful time outdoors while also having the opportunity to connect with others with comparable experiences.

Statistics show that women in rural areas with caring responsibilities were disproportionately impacted by lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and have been the last group able to return to work following the easing of restrictions, leaving them increasing isolated.

Similarly, ex-Service personnel are more likely to suffer from alcoholism, depression, and anxiety yet produce better than average outcomes when taking part in outdoor skills-based activities.

Likewise, young people considered to be “at risk” of committing crime often struggle to express themselves in a classroom setting but can thrive in a practical, outdoor setting, reducing the likelihood of them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour in future.

The sessions will look to support affected individuals through activities designed to promote wellbeing, confidence, social connections and skills in a fun, relaxing and healing outdoor environment.

“We are absolutely delighted to have received this grant from the Caring Communities Innovation Scheme,” said Tir Coed’s development director, Teresa Walters.

“There is undeniable evidence of the benefits that nature brings to mental health and general wellbeing.

“By targeting these sessions on groups of individuals with a shared experience we want to give people the chance to focus on practical activities, relax and forget their day-to-day worries in an open and friendly atmosphere with others who can relate to their daily challenges.”

To find out more about the sessions available, contact Tir Coed’s Cath Seymour by email at projectmanager@tircoed.org.uk or by calling 01970 636909

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