Last updated: 1st June 2020
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We have, once again, found inspiration in the Resilience work undertaken by our friends at Boing Boing Community Interest Company, the Resilience Framework developed by Professor Angie Hart and her colleagues.
We have decided to take a building block each week from the Resilience Framework to inform our weekly updates. Last week we thought about on a block from the Basics strand, “we exercise and get fresh air”.
A lot has been written in the past weeks about exercise. It is one of the few things we are actively allowed to do during the Lockdown, and it has been lovely to see whole family groups out together for their daily walk or cycle ride. This led us to think more about the well-being benefits of being outside, and to look at the mental health work on ‘Green Care’.
Beverley has written about her initial investigation into the area: “This week I looked into the research about exercise and getting outside. It has been found that children tend to be less active, and their fitness levels usually decrease, during the summer holidays. Keen to avoid this impact in lockdown, a variety of fitness videos have been made available online. Our favourite, ‘PE with Joe’ on YouTube (daily family-friendly workouts) typically have over 1 million views. However, the Royal College of Psychiatrists have helpfully compiled research (further links on our Research page here) which shows the benefits, both of exercising, and of being outside. Exercise, for example, has been found to promote positive behaviour and the wellbeing of children with autism and ADHD. I was also interested to learn that spending time outside can improve symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression. In addition to the research, the website above links to suggestions for engaging with nature at different levels – from looking out a window, to walking the dog, to gardening. Thinking about all this reminded me of child I worked with last year who, when asked what they thought might help them manage feelings of anxiety, suggested they run a quick lap of the playground. They were definitely onto something! “
Dr Alan Kellas is the “nature based care and green spaces rep.” for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and here you can listen to an interview that he gave to Isabel Hardman, a journalist with the Spectator who has written about her own mental illness and depression. This interview is well worth a listen – it helps to explain why many of us are finding solace in nature at the current time.
If you click on the links below you will find further information and ideas to support children and young people and ideas for adults to improve the benefits to us all of paying attention to 'green care'.