Publish date: 8 February 2024

Alongside prescribed medication, which can be incredibly effective and life-saving, there are many approaches to helping our service users manage their illness or support their recovery.

Access to outdoor space and spending time in nature is one of them.

Green social prescribing is the practice of supporting people to engage in nature-based interventions and activities to improve mental and physical health. It has been part of the treatment of mental health conditions since the 1800s.

Here at AWP we are passionate about green social prescribing and the intervention, experience and benefits it brings for people who use our services.

Mathew Page, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Green Social Prescribing is effective in offering something to everybody, no matter what they are going through. Along with connecting with nature, increased physical activity, reduced stress and anxiety, and reduced social isolation are just some of the benefits.”

In partnership with Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations we use nature as therapy and scale the intervention to suit the needs of an individual from low key straight forward interventions, right through to providing complex interventions for people in hospital who have a high level of need. This could be as part of a weekly allotment group or in a more targeted setting with specialist providers such as the Wildlife Trust.

Bringing green social prescribing in to our everyday practice, AWP is part of Healthier with Nature which is the Green Social Prescribing Programme for Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire and was one of seven national ‘test and learn’ sites for green social prescribing across England.

Watch the video below to learn more about Green Social Prescribing at AWP, and visit the Healthier with Nature website to find out more about the Green Social Prescribing Programme for Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire.