In What's On

Covid-19 and social distancing has produced extremes in response. For some it is an escape from the pressures of modern life. For many it has heightened existing health and wellbeing concerns. It is creating new waves of people experiencing isolation, loneliness, poor mental health, and challenges with practical issues like loss of income. Even where people are isolating with other people it is surprisingly possible to feel lonely without being alone. Being in wild places is good for your health and wellbeing and a pioneering project is bringing those benefits to your home.

Staying connected to each other and to the outside world has never been more important than right now and during these difficult times we are sure that many individuals are in need of some extra support with their mental health and wellbeing.

That’s why here at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust we are proud to be offering a way to do just that with our free virtual ecotherapy sessions Myplace at Home – connecting with nature to make us feel happier and healthier.

Simon, one of our volunteers told us that: “The online Myplace sessions have made a huge difference to my lockdown experience because the sessions provide me with an escape from the situation I am currently trying to adapt to. It means I get to see familiar faces and do something positive that breaks up the day.”

Rhoda Wilkinson, Myplace Manager: “Usually, we encourage our participants to put their phones and laptops to one side and to embrace the full benefits of being out in nature. We might take a wildlife walk or learn how to cook on a campfire. Learning things, creating things, giving something back to nature, and spending quality time outside; these are all proven ways of supporting our mental health and what our Myplace project is all about.

Whilst following government guidelines on social distancing we are now able to offer the opportunity to bring Myplace into people’s making positive use of technology”

Kevin O'Hara from the Business Development Team at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust said: "We know that life has changed for many people, especially when isolated from their friends and family. With this in mind our staff are working extremely hard to give people easy access to the mental health and wellbeing support they need.

It is fantastic that we are able to continue offering referrals through this new initiative for people who need extra support during the pandemic.”

Senior Project Officer, Jenni Lea explains how the online Myplace sessions work: “The sessions are completely free and will run once a week, lasting an hour and half. Every session is delivered by experienced Myplace staff who are fully trained to provide a safe, nourishing environment. We make sure the groups are very friendly and supportive and will have no more than eight participants in a session at one time. We use a secure online meeting area to create   safe ways to connect with people who may be in a similar situation to you, to learn new skills and to improve your wellbeing. By bringing Myplace in to people’s homes we also hope to encourage people to learn more about how to act for nature in their own yards and gardens, developing strong green corridors that support natures recovery too.”

The Myplace ecotherapy project has been supporting people to improve their wellbeing through contact with nature since 2016 as part of our successful partnership with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. We have changed people’s lives and our hope is that this new offer will provide even more people with the vital support they need.

These new virtual Myplace sessions are open to anyone aged 16 or over and are completely free. If you think you or someone you know might benefit from these online sessions please visit our webpage – where you will be able to complete our self-referral form or contact a member of the team with any further questions you may have about Myplace or our online sessions.

Myplace is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund through Reaching Communities England and Our Bright Future and the European Social Fund through the More Positive Together Programme.




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