Carers connect with nature

Carers and disabled adults and children with limited opportunity to go outside have been enjoying the chance to bring nature-based activities into their homes.

The health benefits of gardening and contact with nature are well documented but remain out of the reach of many people with disabilities. We created this project to bring nature-based activities into the lives of people living with dementia, children with multiple disabilities, adults with learning disabilities and carers.

Providing contact with nature brings pleasure, meaning and purpose into day to day lives. Benefits are shared by families and carers who need support in providing meaningful activities designed for a range of disabilities.

Connecting carers

We worked with 40 carers throughout Cornwall and provided a fun, creative break away from their caring duties. We introduced the groups of carers to a variety of nature based resources, trained them in how to best use the resources at home and suggested ways of adapting the resources to suit individual circumstances. All the carers took resources home and were confident in using them to help support the person they are caring for by forging a deeper connection with nature. Many carers in the groups didn’t know each other, by taking part in a craft based session they opened up to each other to discuss their problems and offer mutual support. Many new links and relationships were established throughout the project which will hopefully continue to grow.

Young carer trying out new nature-based activitiesYoung carers taking part in nature-based workshop

The community workshops provided a familiar and non-threatening setting for meeting others. The activities give a ready topic of conversation and encourage people to share of skills with family and friends, thereby reducing isolation.

By disseminating practical guidance on how family and carers can provide low cost nature based activities at home, the project will encourage them to create their own accessible gardens. This will enable the disabled people to continue and extend their nature based activities.

Young carers taking part in an outdoor workshop

Young carers taking part in an outdoor workshop

Young carers welcoming the opportunity to explore the outdoors

The outdoors provides welcome creative respite from the day to day responsibilities experienced by young carers

Older carers testing new nature-based activities

Older carers enjoying the chance to get together with others to try out nature-based activities.