NASP is working to strengthen the connection between health and the natural environment. Through our work in regions, we are highlighting nature-based activities and the benefits of them to link workers and others in the health sectors, and helping providers to understand the needs of health providers and individuals.
We’re part of the cross-Government Green Social Prescribing project to tackle mental ill-health. And we’re putting £500,000 towards developing pilot schemes in seven areas of the UK. This is a £5.77 million programme, funded by the Government’s Shared Outcomes Fund. Other contributors include Sport England and NHS England.
We are providing the Secretariat (administrative office) for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Health and the Natural Environment. We’re working with MPs and peers to research links between health and nature. And we’re defining how this information can be better integrated into Government policy. So that everyone can connect to the natural environment.
In partnership with Natural England and Nottingham CVS, we’ve assisted the development of models that establish “green buddies.” A green buddy is someone who helps others connect with nature, through information, support, and activities.
It’s not sensible to just be an ‘illness service’. We need to incorporate better use of land to improve our health and wellbeing. Not only are we helping physical health. We’re helping mental health, isolation and all the stress that comes from living in the times we are in.