This two-year project brings together local women from low income and Black and minority ethnic backgrounds to connect with nature through organised outdoor activities such as nature walks, mindfulness, outdoor yoga and wild swimming.
Local women from low income and Black and minority ethnic backgrounds facilitate the groups and participate in the activities. The project is run by Open Minds Active Ltd.
Social groups for women to connect whilst doing outdoor activities such as nature walks, mindfulness, outdoor yoga and wild swimming.
Knowle and Brislington, Bristol
The outdoor activities are designed to support mental health and wellbeing, reduce social isolation, and build confidence, especially following the Covid-19 lockdowns when many people have been isolated.
The sessions offer mental health first aid support to participants, and facilitators are trained to signpost to specialised services as needed. The participants have the opportunity to feedback their ideas for the project through a WhatsApp group and facilitators shape activities around the feedback.
Many of the participants have not engaged with outdoor activities before and benefit from being able to learn new skills in a supportive group. It also provides a supportive environment for participants to meet other women from their local area and form friendships outside of the project.
Skilled facilitators have developed a peer mentoring model to ensure the sustainability of the programme. Local women who have participated in the programme are trained to run their own activities and can establish their own social group as part of the project.
“I learned to swim with the Bristol Active Women project which has helped with my pregnancy. Now I’m excited to inspire other women in my community to get active and get out walking with me.”