Immersing ourselves in the natural world is one of life’s great joys – and has also been proven to boost our health and wellbeing.
According to scientists, we need to be spending at least two hours each week in nature to derive the benefits, and increasing numbers of GPs are prescribing nature-based interventions for a variety of chronic diseases and long-term conditions.
One particularly vocal advocate for the social prescribing model is the Wilderness Foundation UK, a charity which helps disadvantaged young people reclaim their connection to the natural world through one-on-one wilderness therapy and outdoor adventures.
This Thursday, the Wilderness Foundation will host Voices for the Wild, an inspirational evening of storytelling to celebrate the therapeutic power of nature and its ability to transform vulnerable lives.
Through personal stories of transformations in the wild, the evening will raise awareness of the work being undertaken by the Wilderness Foundation and raise much-needed funds to enable the team to help even more vulnerable young people.
The charity – one of seven nominated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to receive donations from their wedding in lieu of gifts – offers a range of programmes to bring curriculum-based sciences to life in the outdoors, introduce rural employment opportunities to urban youth and mentor future sustainability leaders.
Participants spent time in remote wilderness, where they switch off technology and switch on reality, learning new skills and building resilience to make them more able to cope with the challenges they have experienced in their lives.
Jo Roberts, CEO of the Wilderness Foundation, said:
“We often work with very challenging people, many with mental health or other issues. We go with them to extremely rural parts of Scotland, Wales or abroad, and immerse them in nature. It can be tough, but after taking them camping, trekking or canoeing, the impact and positive change in them is amazing.”
The event, taking place at the Royal Geographical Society in central London, will feature talks from well known speakers including TV presenter Simon Thomas. Simon will talk about how connecting with the natural world helped him to cope following the sudden passing of his wife Gemma 18 months ago. The former Blue Peter and Sky Sports presenter recently collaborated with the Wilderness Foundation on ‘Pursuit of Happiness’, a three-part series broadcast on ITV’s This Morning which focused on mental health and wellbeing.
To find out more about Voices for the Wild and buy a ticket, please visit Eventbrite. If you’re unable to attend but would like to make a donation to support the work of the Wilderness Foundation, please visit their website. Greenhouse supports the Wilderness Foundation as one of our nominated charities.