“I found the walking group helps my anxiety” said Charlie*. “Osprey Outdoors gives me a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. I meet lots of great people and it has improved my confidence.”
Talking, walking, and planting helps Charlie build skills
Taking part in Osprey’s walking group and local conservation days benefits many people including Charlie. Charlie came to Osprey as a young person in his early 20s, with no direction in life. He had low self-esteem and was trying to overcome the challenges of dyspraxia and lack of qualifications to find a job he enjoyed.
Charlie came on walks and talked through his thoughts on being in a workplace for the first time, working with people he didn’t know, and his anxieties of not having the “right” experience. He found these walks to be especially helpful.
But by joining their walking group and conservation days, Charlie built his confidence and skills and is now employed full-time by his local council.
Grant boosts environment and helps tackle isolation in Weston-super-Mare
Just as we entered the January 2021 lockdown we awarded an Express Grant of £4,995 to Osprey Outdoors. The funding supports their Isolation Recovery Project, providing outdoor conservation and bushcraft activities for vulnerable individuals living in Weston-super-Mare.
We’ve all felt the benefits of being outdoors during the pandemic. But Covid has exacerbated the isolation felt by many people with physical disabilities, addiction or mental health issues, who may find it harder to get outdoors.
One of the aims of this project is to get people into the outside environment, to help them feel they’re contributing again. Osprey offer transport from Weston-super-Mare. Without it many of the participants just wouldn’t be able to take part.
Wendy Watkins from Osprey Outdoors says: “Vulnerable adults are the main participants of our work, and they benefit by being in the natural environment and learning new outdoor skills. This engages them and helps them learn and develop, and to gain confidence as an individual and in a team.
“Our conservation work helps people give back to nature, and the people who are taking part learn about their local environment and how to nurture it. We see many mental health needs – anxiety, low levels of self-esteem and confidence, wariness of meeting new people.
“During lockdown we have been able to have a small group of regular volunteers assisting with site maintenance at our allotment site. This was one day a week, outside and adhering to social distancing guidelines.”
Covid has hit our most disadvantaged communities hard
Ronnie Brown, Quartet’s Interim CEO says: “Our recent Vital Signs report shows that Covid has hit our most disadvantaged communities hardest. And it’s predicted the climate crisis will do the same.
“However our local charitable organisations will be frontline in the response to climate change because they’re on the ground, ready to act swiftly, as they’ve already been doing throughout the pandemic.
“We want to support action now to improve the local environment. We’re already funding projects like Osprey Outdoors who’re using their years of experience to get people working in the outside environment, bringing isolated people back to nature as part of a team.
“As restrictions ease they’ll be able to continue their conservation days, walking and exploring the landscape days and bushcraft days. These not only boost the participants’ confidence levels, but their conservation days also make an important contribution to sustainability, and encourage recycling.”
- participants name has been changed