Thanks to a collective partnership between the Wildlife Trusts and manufacturing company, Siemens, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust has developed a ‘Wild Wellbeing Day’ programme at its flagship nature reserve, Brockholes, to take office workers outside to embrace the natural world and experience the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors.
Run by the specialist MyPlace team, a pioneering partnership project with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, the Wild Wellbeing Days are designed specifically to improve the mental health of all participants using a range of ecotherapy techniques following five key themes: practical conservation work, wildlife walks, mindful environments, growing projects and bushcraft activities.
With significant evidence that contact with nature reduces stress, improves self-esteem and increases resilience, The Wildlife Trust has been trialling its new development strategy priority of ‘ensuring a wildlife-rich natural world contributes to the health and wellbeing of society’.
Debbie Rowlinson, Corporate Relationships Manager for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: "We believe that everyone deserves to live in a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world and have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in their daily lives."
“There is a strong relationship between levels of staff wellbeing and performance. Taking a positive, proactive approach to mental health at work can help you fully engage your staff.”
The Nature and Wellbeing report, a study produced by the Wildlife Trusts with Essex University, found the impact of volunteering in nature had an extremely positive impact with more than two-thirds (69%) of all participants saying their mental wellbeing had improved after just six weeks.
Participants also reported significantly enhanced feelings of positivity, increased general health and pro-environmental behaviour, higher levels of physical activity and more contact with greenspace.
A spokesperson from Siemens said: “It was really great spending time away from the office and bonding with colleagues I rarely see.
“The wellbeing session was a brilliant way to forget about work for a few hours, laughing and not talking about work. Seeing my team happy and relaxed gave me a great sense of achievement.”
Benefits of a healthy mind in the workplace stretch further than the health and wellbeing of individuals, it also contributes to the health of the business.
Debbie continued: “Based on statistics, employees generally account for 90 per cent of a business’ cost base.
“Three out of every five employees will experience mental health issues because of work at some point in their career, and 300,000 people lose or leave their jobs each year because of mental health issues – amounting to one per cent of total workforce.”
Wild Wellbeing Days are now available to book for your team, by emailing email@example.com.