South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System given the funding to 39 different ‘green social prescribing’ projects across the region.
‘Green social prescribing’ helps GPs, other health and care practitioners, and local agencies to refer people to nature-based projects and activities, such as walking for health schemes, gardening and food-growing projects.
Working in partnership with SYB ICS, South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation has administered the grants to a variety of projects.
This includes wilderness activities like bushcraft, camping and orienteering in the Peak District, care farming and conservation in Doncaster, a creative recovery charity in Barnsley, and a multi-award-winning community park, Oasis, in Worksop – a site which was recognised by the Social Prescribing Awards in 2019 and 2020.
Professor Des Breen, SYB ICS medical director, said: “Green social prescribing is all about improving people’s access to and engagement with the natural world.
“Connecting with nature and green spaces, in a variety of ways, helps to improve people’s mental and physical health and reduce demand on our healthcare system.
“Moreover, it is about reducing inequalities in access to nature, which have been highlighted by the pandemic.
“Each project is inspiring in its own way, and we are thrilled to be able to give them a boost – particularly during these difficult times.
“This funding enables the projects to support more people than ever before, and they cover a real mix of ages, abilities and backgrounds.
“In particular, many of them support people who are socially isolated or from areas of deprivation.
“From eco-therapy and mental health swims, through to care farming and horticulture conservation, green social prescribing is becoming more popular, and we’re excited to be leading the way as a test site in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.”
South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System is one of seven sites testing the ways in which connecting people with nature can improve mental wellbeing have been awarded a share of the £5.77 million pot.