Walkers take on charity route to promote access to nature

29 Aug 2013
by Neil Skinner

Dozens of participants will take part in a sponsored walk in support of a life-changing scheme to engage homeless and vulnerable people with the natural world around them. 

The Gateway to Nature to scheme, operated on behalf of Framework, has helped hundreds of people with mental health difficulties to experience new things, learn new skills and make new friends since it was set up in 2010 with funding from Natural England's Access to Nature fund for three years. 

As that hugely successful three year period draws to a close, staff and service users are now seeking ways to continue at least some the scheme’s work and build a lasting legacy. 

Participants in the walk will take on either a 10 or a six mile walk on Saturday, September 7th along the The Big Track Nottingham City Council Canal and Riverside walking route. The walks will begin at 9.30am  from the bowling alley car park in Redfield Way, Clifton Boulevard. 

Katy Wright, Gateway to Nature Coordinator, explained: “This scheme has been hugely beneficial to some very vulnerable people over the last three years and we are determined that this work should continue in some way.

 “The links between access to nature and people’s mental well-being are well-known, but we have been lucky enough to see the benefit of this work a first hand, with people learning new skills, making new friends and making huge strides forward with their mental health. Thing like walking, map reading or climbing might see like purely leisure activities, but they have very definite real world benefits in terms of the boost they provide to people’s sense of self-esteem and confidence. 

“It is easy for people to take for granted access to nature, such as the ability to get in the car and drive to the Derbyshire Dales, but all these things cost money – money that many of our service users simply don’t have. Indeed, for some of the people we have worked with Gateway to Nature has provided them with their first experience of the countryside.” 

The Gateway to Nature Team wants to raise a total of £15,000 in the next year to continue to the greatest extent possible their work with vulnerable people. It is hoped that this walk will raise up to ten per cent of that sum.

To find out more or to get your participation pack, including sponsor form, get in touch with Framework’s fundraising team on 0115 970 9558 or fundraising@frameworkha.org.

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