There is an increasing amount of evidence that shows connecting with nature has huge benefits to both physical & mental health and wellbeing.
There are a number of ways individuals can access Wild at Heart
- Individuals can book themselves into a group
- Individuals can be signposted from a community organisation or health and social care professional
- The Rotherham Social Prescribing Service will support their clients to access the group Rotherham Social Prescribing Service
If you support someone who you think would benefit from joining in with Wild at Heart please get in touch with Project Officer Jenny King on 0114 263 4335 (or 0114 312 2235) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a community organisation who works with groups that may feel nervous or anxious about exploring the greenspaces outside of Sheffield & Rotherham please visit our Connecting Steps webpage to find out more.
Feedback from Community Support Organisations
“The consistent high quality of this project has enabled me to refer participants into the Wild at Heart sessions with confidence, knowing that they will be suitably supported, and receive a wonderful, and educational experience every time.
When speaking to the people who have participated in the Wild at Heart sessions, it’s obvious that they have all enjoyed getting to know more about the environment, nature, and wildlife. The project has really added value to the community work which we are able to offer; the specialist knowledge which Wild at Heart has brought into the communities in which we work, has developed individuals’ knowledge, confidence, and ability to look at the environments around them, and take time to enjoy the wildlife around them every day.”
– Andrew Basford, Age Better Volunteer Coordinator at Manor & Castle Development Trust
“Earlier this year, I was looking for a group to support two of the participants that had already been supported by Age Better at Sheffield Mind. One of the participants had been supported by an Age Better Peer Mentor for almost a year, and had been reluctant to try groups….When we looked at the wild at heart programme together, we got a tentative “I might like that” I rang Jenny on his behalf, and she was happy to introduce him to the group, along with myself as ‘transport!’. The group was perfect for someone who has anxiety…it is small, friendly and above all kind…it gives a connection with nature, and makes no distinction as to whether you join in or just watch…talking is not forced, and it is rare to find a group where you can go and just ‘be’. Jenny and her helpers treat everyone with a great deal of respect, and guide the participants rather than teach, allowing discovery and questioning.
In all I am sad that our links are to end (because of our age better funding) as this group has been the perfect match for us. It has helped to decrease isolation, improve people’s activity level, increase their enjoyment and appreciation of the world around them, and more than anything, formed a ‘Wild at heart community.”
– Julia Thompson, Age Better Peer Mentor Coordinator, Sheffield Mind
“As a support worker for Independent Living at the British Red Cross, I took a few clients to the Rotherham Wild at Heart Group. One of the main reasons I found the group to be so valuable was how it promotes independence in a safe and welcoming atmosphere. The wonderful people who run the group were inclusive, kind and fun to be with! Each session was both educational and fun, while allowing a conducive environment for local people to meet, socialise and make friends.
The Wildlife Trust staff were very helpful in making it possible for people to attend the group, taking into consideration each person’s individual needs. One of my clients initially attended the group with me, but with the support of the Wildlife Trust staff it was possible for my client to continue attending the group with the use of the Access bus. In a world where so many people find themselves isolated and lonely, it is invaluable for Rotherham to have a group that celebrates wildlife and nature. I can see first-hand the positive impact on those who attend.”
– Tom Chapman, British Red Cross
“Wild At Heart has been a fantastic initiative. The encouragement to value the wild life and recognise the biodiversity in our own immediate vicinity is great for encouraging people to value their geographical community and to experience and enjoy the world around them. Even better, this rich natural world can be enjoyed for free. Wild At Heart has educated and encouraged so many people, and given roles to champions of the environment as volunteers. At Drink Wise Age Well we have enjoyed working in collaboration with you at a variety of events, and your knowledge and resourcefulness has brought new ideas and pleasure to our client group. Whether it has been building bug hotels or bird feeders you have managed to enhance the natural world whilst bringing a great deal of pleasure to older people, many of whom have been previously isolated and feeling short of ideas. Thanks for everything you have done.”
– Andy Whitehouse, Team Leader Drink Wise, Age Well – Sheffield
“The Wild at heart Project has been a huge support and virtual lifeline to those I have referred and supported to get to events. It has given them a reason for getting out and remaining active in the community, as well as the opportunity to try things that they might never have done without the support of your team.
The outings have been varied and interesting and again given people the chance to get outdoors and experience things they have not had a chance to do for many years.
The encouragement and dedication of your team has helped encourage people to get active and get out! It has been particularly helpful to have support to get to events with transport provided for those who would not otherwise have been able to access events. All with the added bonus of learning about the wildlife around them – and you’re never too old to learn!”
– Claire Brooks, Community Worker with Older People, Churches Together in Broomhill and Broomhall