Our Ecology Island project has been successfully running since April 2017 and the heart of the project has been using the benefits of being in nature and getting stuck into different activities as a way to improve mental health. We hold weekly sessions every Monday from 10am to 1pm. Everyone who attends is supported by our staff during the activities and by a member of North Kent Mind, who we are partnered with. The project provides a supportive and welcoming space without fear of stigma along with opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Many of our attendees have gone onto leave the group by getting back into employment.
Previously this project was set in Dartford Central Park but we have now moved to a new site in Darenth Country Park. Dartford Borough Council have very kindly given us their old Victorian garden to restore and many of our activities so far have included trying to tame the plants on site, growing our own fruits and vegetables and creating areas specifically for wildlife. We also have other projects to undertake in the park itself including coppicing of trees. Participation in the activities is decided upon by each member attending and a wide range is offered to try to cater to varying interests such as growing and planting, DIY and construction, arts and crafts, games, and walks and id skills (please see photos at bottom of page).
Please watch our short video to find out more about our ecology island project and the difference it is making to the mental health of our participants:
If you are potentially interested in joining Ecology Island to help improve your mental health and also the environment then please get in contact either with us or North Kent Mind.
Stephanie Johnson at NWKCP: Stephanie.Johnson@kent.gov.uk
Lawrence Camilleri at North Kent Mind: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Kent Mind: 01322 291380