Local people ‘head to nature’ at Portmore

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An innovative wellbeing project has recently taken place at RSPB Portmore Lough near Aghalee.

The Head to Nature project was a 12 week pilot project organised by RSPB Northern Ireland in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Derriaghy Social and Educational Centre and the Public Health Agency.

Eight service users who live daily with mental health related issues voluntarily attended the scheme and carried out nature activities such as guided walks, wildlife photography and practical conservation work.

Noelle Hollywood, Community Health Development Practitioner, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said, “Head to Nature assists clients with mental health issues on the road to recovery by participating in outdoor conservation work; hanging bird boxes, ground work, photography and nature walks. As well as promoting physical activity, awareness of environmental issues and team building there is a social element as the team enjoy a picnic lunch together after the morning’s activities.”