How the healing power of nature is helping people in recovery in Devon

"I am so thankful and grateful for all the tools that they have given me, like I kind of owe them to really do my best so that others can benefit too.”

Flourish in Nature is a project that is led by EDP Drug & Alcohol Services and funded by Sport England. It focuses on encouraging people in recovery to volunteer their time whilst training to become activity leaders and/or peer mentors.

This program helps people see and realise their full potential, engage with new hobbies, and discover what really matters to them, all while embracing the beauty of nature. Due to the lockdowns most of the much-needed face-to-face support that people in recovery were used to, came to a standstill. But Flourish in Nature continued because they were able to maintain their nature walks as a group while keeping social distancing.

The outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, tai chi, wild swimming, forest bathing and boxing have been hugely impactful for everyone involved because they have been able to continue with a support system and communicate in person with others who are experiencing similar challenges. Flourish in Nature also offers zoom meetings twice a week, where anyone can join to talk about what is on their mind or issues they are facing. Helping people to stay connected with one another and encouraging step by step development of their community. The program has benefitted and impacted many people, one of which is Kelly.

Kelly was approached around 9 months ago to see if she fancied trying out some new experiences and maybe gaining a few new skills. She was at a point in her life where there was a void and she was at a loss as to how to fill it. “But when Flourish in Nature came along it was a huge game-changer.” For the past nine months she has been working hard to pursue her goals and in just two months’ time she will be a fully qualified yoga instructor!

Kelly’s family and friends have all been affected by her journey and are extremely proud of her for what she has accomplished and her determination for a better future. She will not settle

for anything less. She claims, “I wish that perhaps something like this was around 20 years ago then maybe life could have been different. I am so thankful and grateful for all the tools that they have given me, like I kind of owe them to really do my best so that others can benefit too.”

Flourish in Nature have a busy Facebook page where you can see all their latest activities www.facebook.com/flourishedp

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