Pathways to Active Lives was a Postcode Lottery Funded project developed and delivered by The Cass Foundation.
This program, running from January to December 2017 was formed to enable and develop an understanding of the motivations for people to sign up and participate in outdoor interventions that benefit physical and mental health.
In delivering targeted Health and Wellbeing interventions, The Cass Foundation is committed to instilling and encouraging an ethos of self care, self awareness and self esteem. With this being the main focus, participants are encouraged to have the confidence to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
This approach underpins all our activities and our end goal is always to ultimately make our services redundant. Through encouraging small steps and attainable tasks participants are enabled to achieve these key objectives
By building a body of ‘local intelligence’ through engaging and consulting with local GP’s, health trainers, patient participation,groups, key community groups, local residents, university experts and course participants, we aimed to achieve more effective recruitment to outdoor interventions, particularly for those that are typically hard to reach or are in need of extra encouragement.
Increased urbanisation is associated with increased levels of mental illness, particularly anxiety and depression. Research has shown that exposure to greenspace significantly contributes to a positive effect on
wellbeing. Therefore, taking time to visit green spaces in order to improve health and wellbeing has never been more important.
Most activites took place at Rice Lane City Farm, The Merseycare Life Rooms, Everton Park and Croxteth Park. A menu of activites were offered, all in 12 week blocks of sessions, to include Nature's Therapy, Family Forest School, Family Forest Tots, Drumming in Nature, Therapeutic Gardening and Nordic Walking.
These activites were all well attended and a strong case has been built to evidence the need for more activites for adults, targeting isolation, mild mental health and encouraging physical activity outdoors.
Due to funding restrictions, this was a relatively short programme but the positive feedback has formed a strong case for similar work to continue, particularly in relation to building the Social Prescibing model of care. We continue to work closely with our local CCG, NHS and neighbourhood network groups
Some comments from the groups:
'Getting out of the house to meet new people, getting out in nature. I found it helped me with my mental health very much.”
“Meeting new people and having adult conversations whilst working together, to enjoy food and drink in the outdoors. I felt like I was having a mini adventure in my normal week, a little escape so to say.”