Following a £50k grant award from the National Academy for Social Prescribing in March this year, the Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust (Ross CDT), has now announced the launch of its CLOVER project which will deliver a programme of social prescribing activities throughout 2021 up to spring 2022.
CLOVER – Creative, Leisure, Outdoor & Volunteering Opportunities – aims to increase access to social prescribing activities in the HR9 postcode area, especially for those over 65, the rurally isolated and carers, in order to improve mental and physical wellbeing. It also aims to help local communities to cope with the impact of COVID-19, as part of a national initiative to embed social prescribing in communities and healthcare.
Social prescribing schemes can involve a variety of activities which are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations. Examples include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.
The CLOVER project, involving Herefordshire Council’s Social Prescribing Team, Taurus Healthcare, is being coordinated by Ross CDT (lead partner) on behalf of a partnership with Active Herefordshire & Worcestershire, the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, ignite CIC and Rural Media. As part of the launch, the team have introduced four activities which can be booked online at www.clover-hr9.org.uk and include:
Wellbeing in Nature, starting 25 May – these sessions will be run by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and over 10 weeks, participants will explore ways in which nature can improve health, with suggested wildlife to look out for on the walks or through your window plus an introduction to mindfulness.
Nordic Walking, organised by Ignite CIC, starts on 7 June and participants can learn the 10-step technique with qualified instructor, Amanda Lewis, which can then be used in a series of nature walks around Ross-on-Wye.
Mindfulness Weaving, also organised by Ignite CIC, starts on 11 June and with local craftsman Clyde Hoare from Wild Wicker, participants will learn the art of weaving and develop a variety of weaving techniques to improve mindfulness and mental health.
Adult Literacy tuition is being offered by Ross Adult Literacy Group to anyone struggling with reading, spelling, language and maths – these free one-to-one lessons will be available to any adult, whether English is their first language or an additional language.
Jane Roberts, Chair of the Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust commented: “The whole team is very excited about the launch of the CLOVER project because it is just the start of a much wider initiative that we hope will be adopted in other locations across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and beyond. Social prescribing is so important and we hope it will give people the opportunity to develop skills which will ultimately improve their physical health and mental wellbeing.”
There will be an information day on Thursday 20 May at Ross-on-Wye Market House between 10am and 3pm where the team will be demonstrating some of the courses, including Willow Weaving and Nordic Walking.