Ecology Island - video transcript

[Title card] Kent Environment Strategy - Ecology Island

We see a forest on a clear autumn day: Golden leaves are gently rustling and a stream reflects clear sunshine.

A team of volunteers are maintaining the forest under the supervision of Isabel Shaw, Partnership Manager for the North West Countryside Partnership.


Northwest Kent Countryside Partnership has been running conservation and volunteering projects for years and years, and we've always known that it does people good. So we put together a new project with our friends at North Kent Mind.

We're working completely in partnership so at every session we're there, and North Kent Mind are there, and everybody can play to their own strengths, because we're not experts in mental health and North Kent Mind aren't experts in conservation, and this way everybody that comes along is completely supported.

They've said they can just come here and they don't have to pretend to be ok if they're not feeling ok.

Volunteer 1:

When I first come here in January, it was all growing over and everything. There's much we've done well I think. Sitting indoors 'cause you've got depression like, drives you round the bend dunnit.

I really look forward to me Mondays coming here, we've had a couple of little gaps 'cause of funding, and your lost. What am I gonna do on a Monday, y'know back to the old routine y'know. But yeah I'll get up in the mornings, 'Ooh it's Monday' I got something to do like y'know. Something that's worth doing as far as I'm concerned.

No big boss sayin oh y'know, 'do this! do that!' That's all discussed as a team, that's nice.

[Caption] £10 billion is spent each year on NHS mental health services.

[Caption] £208 buys 8 weeks of nature treatment per person.

Volunteer 2:

I'm not working now. I felt that I needed to meet other people y'know. I've met this guy today has similar interests, and we had a great chat and doing a bit of whittling, and y'know.

I had a lot of issues when I left work and I went to see Mind in Gravesend, and I had some counseling. This is one of the things that was arisen out of it and I've really enjoyed it.

I wanted to be back involved in something that meant something to me, and the environment means a lot to me.

Kathy Noble, Mental Health Professional at North Kent Mind:

From my point of view, working in mental health, what I've seen is people who don't want to engage with normal kind of drop-ins and courses and things.

I've seen people come here and engage with the environment, make new friends learn new skills and it's been absolutely fantastic for their wellbeing and everybody always goes away from here feeling better than when they arrived.

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