On Friday 20th July, our Positive People programme kept their promise to continue mastering their gardening skills at Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne’s in Newton Abbot, Devon.
“The Devon Positive People team are committed to encompassing sustainability within everything we do, and after our community garden clear-up in Barnstaple in June, we wanted to continue lending our green fingers to support Hannah’s charity”, says Vicky Moss-Crump, Devon Positive People Project Manager.
Looking after our local spaces and bringing them back into the community is becoming increasingly important. “Many spaces have fallen into disarray and these spaces have the potential to offer something back to the local communities they reside in”, says Vicky.
“Hannah’s at Seale Hayne’s has recently become a Positive People specialist partner, and the objective of the day was to help replenish the garden and encourage our participants who attended to volunteer with the garden’s maintenance”.
The usual gusto, giggles and graft carried our Positive People team through the day's work and we were accompanied by 8 of our participants, which lightened the load!
“It’s important for us to think of new activities that may be of benefit to our participants and by helping clear a very valuable space we will be able to hold events and activities here such as cooking, woodwork and horticulture”, says Vicky.
“Positive People recognise there are endless benefits to being outside in nature, and in a day and age where many of us spend more time than we should inside, research has suggested that nature can hold the therapy to reduce our stress”, says Avril Bankes-Fay, Positive People Partnership Manager for Devon.
Studies say that spending too much time in front of screens indoors, can be classified as ‘nature deprivation’ and this has been associated with depression.
This research has put forward that everything we hear, see, and experience at any moment changes not only our mood, but how our nervous, endocrine and immune systems are working.
Stresses of an unpleasant environment can contribute to anxiety, sadness, or helplessness that can in turn increase our blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and suppress our immune systems. None of which sounds very pleasant to us!
“Some of our participants may struggle with issues such as anxiety and depression, and with studies showing that being involved with nature can contribute to a positive mood, psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness and vitality, we feel strongly that creating spaces for outdoor activities that our participants can become involved in is important – perhaps, we could call these spaces ‘healing gardens!’”, says Vicky.
Here are our Top 4 Reasons to get out in nature more often:
1. Vitamin D: Yes, we all remember a time where we’ve heard we should get outside for some of that precious Vitamin D! Rightly so, it’s extremely important we get enough of this vitamin to maintain a healthy immune system. Those who don’t get enough are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Getting enough sunlight in our lives has also been proven to contribute to the prevention of diabetes, auto immune disorders, multiple sclerosis and heart disease! We feel that’s reason enough – even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day!
2. Eye health: Spending too much time in front of a screen can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), this can be from a TV or a computer, and so many of us are guilty of this! We are at risk of blurred vision, double vision, dry/red eyes, eye irritation, headaches and neck and back pain! Getting outside and focusing on objects further away from us can help to prevent and even reverse these symptoms!
3. Improved sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is as important for your health and body as it is for your mind and mood!
4. Exercise: Getting outside may inspire us to explore and have a light stroll, or even a hike! We all know how important it is to get moving!
Positive People is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.