This autumn, DEFRA and NHS England released a call for projects with a funding pot of £2 million to support green social prescribing. As a result, Gloucestershire’s Local Nature Partnership and the county’s Clinical Commissioning Group convened a consortium - ranging from natural environment organisations to city, district and county councils - to work together on a green social prescribing offer for Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire’s ‘Expression of Interest’ has been successfully shortlisted, one of 15 out of 55 across England, and the consortium has now submitted a full proposal.
For Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, mental and physical health interventions are rapidly becoming part of our DNA. The organisation’s natural solutions are a cornerstone of its strategy and contribute to keeping people happy and healthy, whilst at the same time creating and improving habitat for wildlife. Those who participate in our outdoor health programmes have proven better access to, understanding and appreciation of nature as well as having evidenced improved health and wellbeing.
In addition, for Gloucestershire’s Clinical Commissioning Group, prevention, early intervention and self-care are key priorities in Gloucestershire’s Integrated Care System (ICS). There is ambition locally and nationally to increase focus on preventing illness, intervening early and helping people to manage conditions themselves where they can. There are considerable benefits for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the NHS in demonstrating the contribution of the natural environment.
In this time of national crisis, with a global pandemic significantly disrupting our daily lives, and the increase of mental health issues across the UK as a result of self-isolation and lockdown, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust have identified staying connected to nature, more so now than ever, as a vital tool in addressing Gloucestershire’s health.