That's why Cheshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to be launching the Great Outdoors Malpas project – a new initiative to help older people from in and around Malpas access the countryside and connect with nature.
Thanks to a £50,000 contract from Brightlife – a Big Lottery funded project aimed at reducing social isolation and loneliness in the over 50s – the Trust will be helping people to develop new skills and interests while rediscovering the physical, mental and social benefits of being outdoors.
The new initiative will be run by the team behind the Trust's Heritage Lottery Fund Natural Futures volunteering project and a whole host of activities will be available to anyone aged over 50 from Malpas and the surrounding villages.
Sam Caraway, the Trust's Natural Futures Manager, said: "This is an exciting new chapter for us as it's the first time we have run a project involving social prescribing, an approach that aims to improve health by tackling people's social and physical wellbeing. One of our main aims as a Trust is to ensure that wildlife is enjoyed and valued by all – this project will allow people who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the benefits of nature the opportunity to explore the great outdoors."
Head of Brightlife Chris McClelland adds: "There are many long-term physical and emotional benefits to be gained by spending time outdoors. Experiencing nature can play a vital role in helping people with dementia to regain their confidence and begin to feel in control again. Brightlife is delighted to be working with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust team to help improve the lives of older people across Cheshire West and Chester."
Planned activities include practical conservation volunteering, wildlife gardening, wildlife photography, landscape painting, bee keeping and bird watching. There will also be supported activities such as nature walks for people with dementia.