Since September 2015, ARC has been running an EcoTherapy group at the Foundry Wood Community Woodland.
Ecotherapy involves activities in an outdoor setting to improve mental & physical wellbeing. The therapy comes from being in nature and from the friendly & supportive environment within the group. The group runs every Tuesday from 10 till 3pm at Foundry Wood community woodland on Princes Drive in Leamington.
Ecotherapy@FoundryWood, was initially set up by Teresa Johnston, who after suffering the debilitating effects of mental ill health found respite in the therapeutic value of being outdoors. “I was able to still the mental chatter, by focusing my attention on the natural environment. One in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year and I wanted others who were suffering, to benefit too”. A symptom of having a mental health problem is isolation, so the group creates an environment that is welcoming, friendly and non-judgemental.
The group first got £2,000 from South Leamington Community Forum to pilot the scheme in 2015, then a further £2,000 from the Warwick District Council Small Grants Scheme to scale it up in early 2016. Kath Pasteur, co-facilitator of the group, said, “I am delighted there is further funding for this worthwhile activity. We have a diverse mix of people attending and we would like more people to benefit from the group”.
The Ecotherapy Group have established links with organisations including Mind, ESHWorks & addiction recovery services, as well as the wider community. Activities include general woodland maintenance tasks, shared lunch, social time and further activity in the afternoon. Please visit www.foundrywood.co.uk/ecotherapy/ for further details.