Free nature resources for social care
People who access care and support have new ways to enjoy the benefits of nature, with the launch of free toolkits and training inspired by Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary series Wild Isles. The innovative toolkits cover important and exciting areas such as creating low-cost sensory gardens, enjoying accessible nature walks, and supporting creative and sensory experiences, all of which promote health, happiness, and wellbeing.
Community Integrated Care is proud to have 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 programmes aim to both promote the sensory and physical benefits that nature can deliver, and empower people who access support to enjoy supporting the nature that is around them. They are available to download for free at www.CommunityIntegratedCare.co.uk/Nature.
Community Integrated Care will also be running online workshops, hosted by the RSPB, with further, tips, insights, and guidance on how to make the most of the resources and connect with nature. Workshops are free to join for anyone working in or accessing social care and will commence from 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 home community or in other special places, connect with nature, and experience the wellbeing benefits that being in nature brings.
The toolkit 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.
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 of all backgrounds. Importantly, it can be particularly beneficial for people who have more profound support needs and enjoy sensory stimulation. It is supported by easy read resources to help engage people who might need support and adaptation to enjoy it.
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’ provides a raft of accessible and adaptable creative activities for people who access social care. From drawing to dancing, the programme of specially designed initiatives take inspiration from the nature that’s 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 really excited to learn about looking after the 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 to 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.”