SVP_Green_TeamThe Green Team, one of Stroud Valleys Project’s (SVP) outdoor conservation project, celebrates the win of a £30K Ecominds grant from the mental health charity Mind, on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.

The award comes in recognition of the Green Team’s work, supporting local residents with mental health problems by using conservation work on local green spaces as a form of therapy. This is SVP’s second Ecominds grant which will fund the Green Team to continue this work until March 2013.

Stroud Valleys Project’s Green Team

GPs are starting to appreciate the role of outdoor projects in the treatment of people with mental health problems, and so the need for these services is increasing. The Ecominds grant will help SVP respond to this demand against the backdrop of budget cuts and increased public demand for mental health support.

SVP’s volunteers recognise that working outdoors helps them, and can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Making_a_polytunnel_on_SVP_allotmentMaking a polytunnel on SVP’s allotment


One Green Team member said:  “Volunteering with SVP gave me the chance to start sorting out my life. I thought I couldn’t do anything and I was really low but coming out with the group, learning how to work in a team, and talking to people gave me lots of confidence.”


Another team member remarked: “Volunteering makes me more sociable. There is a lot of interaction in the group and interesting conversation. The sessions up my mood and make me more optimistic and cheerful, and I find I don’t worry so much about the future. It’s also nice to see how other people’s mental health improves, how much they change as a result of regular outdoor work, and how they start to look at nature more holistically, for example in terms of wildlife we are able to support through our habitat work.”

A third volunteer said: “Working with the Green Team gives me something else to think about and working outside, focusing on a task, helps to occupy my head.”

Ivi Szaboova, SVP’s Biodiversity Officer for the Green Team said: “The weekly Green Team sessions give our volunteers a chance to meet people, learn new skills, build self esteem and feel more connected to their community and to nature. We have welcomed more than 30 volunteers since we started the Green Team two years ago and as a result of this grant we are also able to start a new women-only weekly conservation group. ”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “This additional BIG funding presents Ecominds projects with an incredible opportunity to provide long-term support at a local level, for those who need it most. Outdoor therapy has become a life line for many, offering an alternative form of treatment.”

All SVP volunteers gave permission to have their photos used for publicity.






Planting wild flowers to attract butterflies


This is how a wild flower meadow starts









Creating a native tree avenue

at Uplands Playing Field


Another tree planted!




Our finished hedgehog box



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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