How Myplace is changing lives

Rosie Harvey with Myplace participants after balsam bashing

The Myplace project is changing the lives of people in the North West, using ecotherapy to build their confidence and help them to learn new skills.

Myplace is one of my favourite LWT projects. Run in partnership with the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, it helps people reconnect with nature in a gentle, participant-led way that has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s such a fantastic form of therapy – ecotherapy, in fact – for people who may be struggling to connect with the world around them or overcome severe mental health issues.

It’s lovely, then, to hear from former Myplace participants about their unforgettable experiences. We recently received a case study from Rosie Harvey, who volunteered with Myplace Volunteer Coordinator, Jenny Reddell, before moving into a new job! Congratulations Rosie!

Here is what she had to say about her time with the Myplace project.

Myplace volunteers at Witton Park planting flowers

Myplace volunteers planting flowers at our Witton Park hub

“As a PhD student, I work by myself, mostly from home – it's a very lonely experience. I started volunteering with Myplace because I simply wanted an excuse to get out of the house each week and talking to people. But the ecotherapy nature of Myplace has meant it's turned into something far more than that.

Myplace is a time each week when everyone involved – the participants, organisers, and volunteers – get to switch off from day-to-day worries, get outside, work together and have fun. I come away each week feeling refreshed.

“I've recently been offered a new job with the charity Guide Dogs, which is why I can no longer volunteer with Myplace. I think my experiences with Myplace helped me in my application for this job, which I'm grateful for. I was able to talk about my volunteering at my interview, discussing how it's improved my communication and teamwork skills.

“Even though I'm leaving, there have been lots of great moments that I'll take with me. I've learnt so many new skills (know what a post driver is? I didn't either, but I can now use one!), and it's been wonderful to see just how much the participants develop. One thing that's taken me by surprise is just how much I've enjoyed working with Jenny and Carrie, the staff members that run the Preston Myplace sessions. They're absolutely lovely – at no point have they made me feel like 'just' a volunteer. They've consistently asked for and valued my opinions, let me design and run activities during the sessions and been very understanding of my other life commitments.”

Myplace empowers young people, adults and communities to connect with their local environment. It helps them to learn new skills, build resilience and improve their physical health and mental wellbeing in a calming, inspiring environment. It is absolutely fantastic, and with hubs across Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Merseyside, people right across the North West can get involved.

If you’d like to find out more about Myplace and how you can take part, click the button below.

Learn more about Myplace