The Nature for Wellbeing project, based in Poundbury, have gained several referrals which have helped local people connect with wildlife in their area and focus on mindfulness techniques to combat mental health.
Now, the project has extended itself to offer its services to people outside of the Poundbury and Dorchester area. This could include parts of West Dorset, as well as Cerne Abbas and Portesham.
Dr Miles King of People Need Nature and the project’s founder, said: “We’re about halfway through the program and it’s going really well.
“Everyone has been complimenting the work we’re doing and what we have run so far. Momentum has started to build after word of mouth, and I’m so pleased about this.
“We had a singing group on the Great Field, but due to the weather we’ve had to move some of the sessions inside, but this is where our relationship with the PiP café has been a huge advantage with all the facilities.
So far the group have offered singing, as well as art sessions from Art in Poundbury. The project has also held nature photography classes, which Dr King says helps people with mindfulness.
In the new year, Dr King said that the project is adding tai chi and yoga classes, as well as poetry and story-telling classes- with a class in foraging planned for the near future.
He said: “It’s been hugely positive to have the NHS, GPs and Steps2Wellbeing on side and build good relationships with referral pathways.”
Activities will continue to run until August with most held on the Great Field.
In Spring, Deborah Alexander will give a talk about breathing exercises called Breath, Body and Mind where participants will learn practical, science-based tools to enhance, slow and deepen your breath and help regulate your nervous system.
Participants can be referred via several routes, including the Mid-Dorset group of GP practices, which includes all Poundbury and Dorchester surgeries. Those interested are told to ask for your GP practice Social Prescriber. You can also fill in a referral form on the Nature for Wellbeing website and send it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org