Prize for a Surrey project that uses the power of nature to benefit mental health
A Surrey project that connects people with nature to improve their health and wellbeing has won national recognition.
Surrey County Council and the wider Surrey Heartlands partnership have won an award for their collaborative work to develop a green social prescription – connecting people to outdoor activities such as community gardening and guided walks to support their mental health.
The Association of Environment, Economics, Planning and Transportation Directors (ADEPT) presented the honor at its recent annual President’s Awards ceremony. The program won the Shaping Places for People category, which celebrates collaborations to benefit the health and well-being of residents.
The Green Social Prescribing Program aims to help communities recover from the pandemic and overcome health inequities. The county council has teamed up with local health organizations to secure a £500,000 national grant for the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership to ‘test and learn’ green prescribing in Surrey.
More than 130 organisations, representing health, care, district and borough councils, the environment sector and voluntary, community and faith groups, are now involved in a partnership to drive the agenda forward. A green health and wellness network has been set up to share ideas and further develop the project.
The program aims to support communities and parts of the county hardest hit by the coronavirus, including people with mental health needs, people with dementia and their caregivers, and people with learning disabilities.
A series of community groups and programs have received funding from the program to explore ways to improve health and well-being through nature-based activities, including wild swimming and outdoor mindfulness classes. air.
The ADEPT judges said it was “refreshing to see the links to health” and that the program demonstrated “good collaboration”.
Marisa Heath, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Surrey County Council, said: “Congratulations to all involved in this program which shows how working with partners from various sectors can benefit our residents. It’s great to see Surrey’s natural environment being harnessed in this way as a source of support for physical and mental well-being.
Sinead Mooney, Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care, said: “It is fantastic to have this work recognized nationally. We know the pandemic has impacted people’s mental health, but programs like this help improve lives, so no one is left behind.
ADEPT’s outgoing president, Paula Hewitt, hailed the “breadth and quality” of the nominations.
She added: “The past two years have presented us with unprecedented challenges, but these awards show how local authorities have continued to use innovation and collaboration to find new ways to support their communities.”
Visit the Healthy Surrey website to learn more about the Green Social Prescription.