One in four people will experience mental distress at some point in their lives. A new scheme by Stroud Valleys Project will help with recovery. The Green Team: Open to All is designed to help people with mental health problems get better and acquire new skills during Wednesday morning practical conservation sessions. It's an open, socially inclusive group for people from all walks of life, who enjoy working outdoors and learning new things. Apple Day at the Exchange

SVP has been awarded £20,000 to run the Green Team: Open to All, which has been funded by Ecominds, a £7.5 million funding scheme run by Mind on behalf of the BIG Lottery Fund. Ecominds involves people with direct experience of mental distress in environmental projects that improve their mental and physical health, and local communities.

Volunteers carry out a range of nature conservation activities at greenspaces around Stroud district, including planting and laying hedges, planting wildflowers and bulbs, creating bog gardens, managing scrub and making bird, bat and insect boxes.

Biodiversity Project officer Ivi Szaboova, who runs the sessions, said: “Volunteers are central to Stroud Valleys Project’s conservation work. Many of them come out regularly and report great improvement in their physical and mental well-being by being outdoors, working  in a supportive team and achieving tangible results. Mental health is one of those rarely discussed subjects, so the Ecominds funding for the Green Team project is a great opportunity to reduce stigma around mental health and expand the range of volunteering SVP offers. It also increases the number of volunteers whose mental well-being can improve by engaging in habitat creation.”

“A lot of volunteers find outdoor work very therapeutic. The Green Team project enables SVP to introduce new people who experience mental distress to the beneficial activities of nature conservation, and offer them a socially inclusive way to build their confidence and contribute to their local community.”

After just one month, one of our volunteers who joined the Green Team said: “I like coming out to help because I learn new things and always feel valued. It makes me feel better about myself.” and: “The work we do makes me feel I achieved something on that day. I feel useful.”

If you’d like to be part of the Green Team, please get in touch with Ivi Szaboova on 01453 753358.


Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

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Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358


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