Wednesday, 17 April 2024
Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Free nature resources for the social care sector

People who access care and support now have new ways to enjoy the benefits of nature, with the launch of free toolkits and training inspired by Sir David Attenborough’s new Wild Isles documentary series. These innovative resources explore enriching and exciting topics such as creating low-cost sensory gardens, enjoying accessible nature walks, and supporting creative sensory experiences, all of which promote health, happiness, and well-being. 

Community Integrated Care, one of the UK’s leading social care charities, has partnered with the RSPB, WWF, the National Trust, and leading charity for creativity and arts in care, Age Exchange, to support the social care sector to enjoy and care for nature. The initiative has been inspired by the acclaimed new BBC documentary series, Wild Isles, which highlights both the beauty and the fragility of UK wildlife

The programmes aim to both promote the sensory and physical benefits that nature can deliver, whilst also empowering people who access support to enjoy the nature that is around them. They are available to download for free at www.CommunityIntegratedCare.co.uk/Nature.

Alongside the resources, Community Integrated Care will also be running online workshops, hosted by the RSPB, with further, tips, insights, and guidance on how to create a simple and cost-effective sensory garden from scratch. Workshops are free to join for anyone working in or accessing social care and will commence on Tuesday 20th June 2023. Places can be booked here.

Walk With Nature

At the heart of this initiative is the creation of a special ‘Walk With Nature’ toolkit. This guide supports social care workers to enable the people they support to enjoy inspiring walks in their community or other special places, connect with nature, and experience the well-being benefits that nature brings. The toolkit includes draws upon the significant experience that Community Integrated Care has developed in recent years, in creating a range of exciting and accessible ‘Walking for Wellbeing’ resources, co-developed by social care and nature experts.

From the sensory pleasure of birdsong and sweet-smelling plants to the excitement of spotting insects, animals, and birds, a walk with nature is always enjoyable and unique.

This toolkit can have a positive impact on people with a range of care and support needs and can be particularly beneficial for people who have more profound support needs and enjoy sensory stimulation. It is also supported by easy-read resources.

Supporting Sensory Gardens

The programme also offers a special guide to creating sensory gardens using low-cost, easy-to-maintain plants that bring sensory and environmental benefits. Providing practical advice, this toolkit thoughtfully blends support for people who access social care with support for nature too.

Creative with Nature

Created by Age Exchange, ‘Creative with Nature’ offers a raft of accessible and adaptable creative activities for people who access social care. From drawing to dancing, the programme of specially designed initiatives takes inspiration from the nature that is all around us.

Community Integrated Care will be working with its partners to expand and develop this body of work, championing the power of nature in its services and across the social care sector.

To celebrate the launch of these programmes, Community Integrated Care has partnered with RSPB, WWF and National Trust to share wildflower gardening packs with hundreds of its services across England and Scotland. With the potential of planting more than five miles of wildflowers across its estates, colleagues and people supported by the charity will both enjoy the fun of gardening and play their part in backing the Save Our Wild Isles campaign’s aim of supporting the recovery of UK nature.

Susan Hill, a person supported by Community Integrated Care, said:

“I love being out in nature and gardening so I’m excited to learn about looking after nature all around me. I’m part of the charity’s gardening club and being out in the garden, smelling the lovely flowers and listening to different birds, is one of my favourite things to do. It makes me feel calm and happy, and I get to make lots of new friends.”

John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, said:

“Nature is for everyone. RSPB, WWF and National Trust have powerfully recognised this by engaging Community Integrated Care to help bring the Save Our Wild Isles programme to the social care sector. We can think of no better starting point for this than by enabling people to enjoy the sensory and health benefits of getting out in nature and supporting more people to enjoy beautiful sensory flowers in their own gardens.

“These resources will change lives and enable the people we support to enjoy protecting wildlife and nature, as active citizens in their own communities. It has been fantastic to draw upon the deep insights of our partners, as well as the many talents within our charity, to create these new programmes. The influence of these efforts being inspired by Wild Isles, an astounding series by the great Sir David Attenborough, has created real excitement. We are looking forward to furthering this work over the years ahead.”

Amy Morrison, speaking on behalf of the Save Our Wild Isles campaign, said:

“We know just how important nature is in people’s everyday lives. Access to green spaces, listening to birdsong or simply witnessing the changing of the seasons can bring people enjoyment, relaxation and respite. It’s one of the reasons we at the RSPB, National Trust and WWF have launched our Save Our Wild Isles campaign, and why we are so pleased to be working with experts in the social care sector to help bring those benefits to more people receiving care.”

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