The Wild Ways Well project aims to demonstrate what most of us already know instinctively. Spending time outdoors, amongst nature, makes people feel better about themselves and their lives.
In partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) Cumbernauld Living Landscape are using an internationally recognised wellbeing framework called the Five Ways to Wellbeing and adapting it for the outdoors.
Wild Ways Well aims to get people suffering from, or at risk of, poor mental health out into the greenspaces of Cumbernauld. Whilst out amongst the trees, parks and reserves participants get a chance to slow down, relax, enjoy being in the company of other like-minded people, and participate in a variety of environmental and conservation related activities designed to fit in with the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Wild Ways Well is a new programme of environmental activities for those at risk of mental ill health. The project is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, a framework for promoting mental wellbeing in use by organisations all over the world including the NHS and the major UK mental health charities. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a simple way of thinking about our mental wellbeing, they suggest five easy actions which we can all take to improve wellbeing in our daily lives. We have adapted these to an outdoor, green environment.
Wild Ways Well is inclusive and welcomes people from all areas of the community. It is particularly aimed at those interested in improving their mental wellbeing. Sessions are free, all you require is a basic level of fitness and clothing suitable for the Scottish weather (though some basic waterproof clothing is available for loan).
There are two main ways of getting involved with Wild Ways Well:
Throughout the year we run a series of ‘closed’ groups. These are people who have been referred to us by other organisations and who work through a 12 week programme of sessions together as a group, usually with a representative of the referring organisation.
A typical group will consist of around 6 individuals plus a representative from the referring organisation.
Wherever possible programmes and sessions are participant led as to the exact location (within Cumbernauld) and content of each session. This can be discussed either beforehand or at the first session.
It is possible over the course of the programme for participants to earn a 'Discover' level John Muir Award.
Individuals will need a basic level of physical fitness suitable for walking to and from Cumbernauld’s green spaces and be dressed appropriately for the Scottish weather.
If you think your group would be interested in getting involved or would like more information then click below
Wild Ways Well currently offers an 'Open' Group which runs on a Friday afternoon throughout the year.
This group is for anyone who feels they might benefit to come along to, you don’t have to be referred and there is no long term commitment.
The Open Sessions are structured as a rolling programme with content changing every week according to the season. Participants are free to come as often as they like - though booking is required as session numbers are limited - and can drop in and out of the programme throughout the year. It will likely be beneficial to attend at least 12 sessions - as an addition, anyone who attends for this time can earn a 'Discover' level John Muir Award.
Sessions are designed to be as friendly and welcoming as possible. Everyone involved has experience of mental health issues and knows the difficulties individuals can face when joining a new group.
If you feel it would benefit you then it is also possible to meet with a group leader individually or chat on the phone or by email before your first session.
You’ll need a basic level of physical fitness suitable for walking to and from Cumbernauld’s green spaces and the Town Centre and be dressed appropriately for the Scottish weather.
If you'd like to get involved or would like more information then click below
A typical Wild Ways Well session runs for between 2 and 3 hours outdoors and is free of charge. During the session you’ll learn about the Five Ways Well and how you can use it in your daily life. You’ll get a chance to try some fun and easy outdoor environmental and conservation based activities. There will usually be a gentle walk, a hot drink and, along the way, a chance to chat about nature and life in general.
The Friday (open) group meets in Cumbernauld Town Centre and then takes a gentle paced walk to a local nature reserve.
While walking we’ll chat about the nature around us as we go, until we reach one of Cumbernauld’s many nature reserves where we’ll stop and brew up a hot drink over a fire.
After a tea break the group will have a go at some fun, creative, reflective outdoor activities. This might include photography or environmental art; we might use our senses to try and see the world around us in a new way; we can try our hand at animal tracking, learning how to identify plants, trees and flowers, listen to bird song or learn to survey butterflies and bumblebees.
It’s a chance to explore and learn about the natural environment of Cumbernauld while taking time to notice the world around you, relax and connect with the greenspaces while you learn new skills and give something back to nature.
All you need is a basic level of physical fitness suitable for walking to and from Cumbernauld’s green spaces and to be dressed appropriately for the Scottish weather.