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“The COVID-19 Fund”: welcoming EcoWild!

“The COVID-19 Fund”: welcoming EcoWild!

The third recipient to be awarded a grant from The COVID-19 Fund is our longstanding partner, EcoWild, who, since early 2013, have used woodland-based activities to help adults and children find a connection with nature that will stimulate curiosity, relieve tension and bring a sense of peace and connectedness.

When lockdown began, regular EcoWild activities on The Farm had to be shuttered, leaving some regular participants unexpectedly deprived of activities that had helped them ground and function in their daily lives.

Emily Malik, director of EcoWild, tells us that distressing challenges began to emerge, including "living alone, worrying about people close to them, not feeling safe to go out even when we are allowed to, coping with pre-existing struggles with extreme anxiety, depression and psychosis, and desperation that the precious improvements in wellbeing they had made by coming to our courses have been taken away."

In seeking a remote and tech-free solution to this unfortunate situation, EcoWild's "Natural Craft and Mindfulness Packs" were born:

Particularly for people who are living alone, isolated and who regularly struggle with depression/ anxiety/ low mood and health concerns, the packs will support them to access the huge support and solace of having meaningful contact with nature. A regular habit of noticing the unfolding of the rhythms and details of the living world refocuses attention away from the fearful, intangible unknown, and towards gratitude, awe, groundedness and present-centredness. Nearby nature can be simply the wild sky from the window or the changing sounds or smells from hedgerows and verges.

Nature-based mindfulness supports habits of mind that bring awareness to these aspects of everyday surroundings. Practical activities such as wildflower planting and weaving with wool and willow bring contact with natural materials that build a familiarity with and understanding of a complex, diverse living world.

The activity packs will have a combination of natural arts/ craft items, wildlflower seeds, cards to support daily nature-based mindfulness practice and a wellbeing journal.

All supply chains and connections have been carefully considered: the journals support the charity MIND, the wildflower seeds are from a local CIC, the wool for crafting is from British sheep and produced in Cornwall, and the willow is grown on the Somerset levels.

For some of our participants, coming to The Farm for regular wellbeing sessions really is a lifeline, and we want to keep that connection available in these disrupted times.

Participants from The Farm's therapeutic horticulture course, "Grow and Make", will be the first recipients of EcoWild's "Natural Craft and Mindfulness Packs".

We at The Farm look forward to hearing how these packs make a difference in the lives of those struggling at this challenging time, and we're thankful to EcoWild for leading this effort to help nourish the wellbeing of people in ways that go beyond food.

Do we deliver to you?

We deliver to Bristol, Bath, Chew Valley, Weston-Super-Mare, Frome and plenty of places in-between!