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Recovery through Nature Jon Hall, BA (hons), Msc. Commissioning and Development Manager. Phoenix Futures.

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Presentation on theme: "Recovery through Nature Jon Hall, BA (hons), Msc. Commissioning and Development Manager. Phoenix Futures."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recovery through Nature Jon Hall, BA (hons), Msc. Commissioning and Development Manager. Phoenix Futures

2 Back to Nature… RtN takes service users out into nature rich settings to engage them in practical conservation work as part of a therapeutic team Away from our usual treatment settings and into a natural, outdoor environment From a small-scale activities programme at Sheffield Adult Service to full-scale, practical conservation rehabilitation programme running through Scotland and England. Groups go out 1 day a week, and engage for about 12 weeks. Available to both residential and community groups Participation is voluntary Conservation Therapy is about engaging with the earth physically, as well as spiritually.

3 Natures peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees… while cares drop off like autumn leaves John Muir, Very pure therapeutic intervention It takes the TC outside It appeals to a broad spectrum Genuine conservation work is done The wilder the place, the better… Beautiful yet often alien places Constructive tasks preferable Everyone benefits- Service Users, our partners, the local community and Phoenix Futures We have found it is particularly good at keeping people in treatment

4 Back to Nature… Academically underpinned- Back to our roots (Wilson, 1984) - Humans have an innate affiliation with nature Biophilia hypothesis (Wilson, 1984) - Interacting with nature is good for us and has healing qualities Ulrich, 1984; Kaplan, 1995; Clinebell, 1996; MIND, 2007; NHS, natural therapeutic environments facilitate restoration and recovery …Nature is known to have healing and restorative qualities

5 …between every two pines is a doorway to a new world… John Muir, Theoretical Model Hall, 2003 Environment Task Relationships Task – producing something positive and permanent Environment – working in nature rich settings Relationships – teamworking away from traditional settings Service users place themselves within this model. One factor may be more influential for a person than another It is powerful in the way it works to increase both self esteem and confidence. It enhances peoples belief in their ability to change

6 Partnership Working Partnerships are fundamental to the success of RtN We work with all the major national conservation agencies and with many local ones… Natural England, National Trust, John Muir Trust, RSPB, Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, various councils and country parks. The relationship between group leader, group and conservation staff is critical. We must nurture these. We shape ourselves around our partners and work in-line with their management plans. We want to be of benefit to our partners, not a hindrance.

7 Ben Le Bas, NNR Management Co- ordinator, Natural England: Natural Englands partnership with Phoenix Futures has become an integral part of the management of our participating reserves. Not only is excellent work delivered which enhances the biodiversity and infrastructure of the reserves, but the projects contribute to Natural Englands health and social inclusion agendas - It underpins the fact that we are making a genuine difference to the environment.

8 Outcomes… participated participated Open College Network qualification in Practical Conservation and Preparation for Work, NVQ Level 2, giving 9 transferable learning credits Average 56% improvement in retention for the last 4 years for RTN clients, compared to those who didnt do RTN – 48% increase in completions The John Muir Award Scheme

9 Outcomes… 30,000 volunteer hours were delivered to our local communities last year

10 Outcomes … Dave- Absolutely liberating being in touch with nature. They said that you have to experience freedom to appreciate it. Today, I feel free, thank you mother nature Peter- Very good once again, love being out… makes me feel alive and well Nigel- …it helps me get away from pressures of life back home it helps me build confidence and meet others in similar boat

11 Outcomes … John- its therapy by stealth Sarah- Another wonderful day out, hard work pays off… despite the weather this morning I feel exhilarated, alive and free thank you so much Dave- Absolutely liberating being in touch with nature

12 Recovery through Nature helps people who are dependent on drugs and alcohol to transform their lives Its cost effective It gives us a competitive edge Consultant fundraising enables financial viability

13 The natural step forward…. RtN is easily replicable: Due to our vision, commitment, and ability to develop positive relationships with our partners. 15 successful programmes running up and down the country. We were invited to the Seychelles where we consulted on setting up a successful conservation programme for Nature Seychelles. We have set up 2 new programmes in prisons; Northumberland and Hollesley Bay.

14 The natural step forward…. Are you interested in developing something similar? Or are you already doing this? We are seeking to underpin the programme with more research and we are open to any ideas or suggestions… RtN has enabled us to be brave enough to take our TCs into new environments; Voyage of Recovery, PF Forest We are using our experience to maximise peoples opportunity to benefit from the TC in new settings

15 Any Questions?


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