Branching out in Deeside

Health professionals, friends and family members celebrate with Branching Out clients, receiving their certificates and John Muir Discovery Award
Health professionals, friends and family members celebrate with Branching Out clients, receiving their certificates and John Muir Discovery Award

A community project in Deeside supporting the recovery of adults with long-term mental health concerns has been given a funding boost.

Outdoor and Woodland Learning North East Group (OWLNEG) has received £5000 from the National Lottery Awards for All for its next Branching Out programme.

The group has been working with partners to deliver its second course over 12 weeks at Crathes Castle.

Funding for the project was received from Tesco Bags of Help, Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr Area Committee, NHS Grampian Endowment Funds and NHS Grampian.

Branching Out is an innovative outdoor programme, helping the recovery for adults experiencing long term mental wellbeing challenges in Deeside.

For each client, the service consists of around three hours of activities per week in a woodland setting,

Activities are adapted to suit the group, site and time of year, and generally include health walks, conservation activities such as tree planting, bushcraft, campfire cooking and environmental art.

Now the group is looking forward to its next programme.

Julia Mackay, of OWLNEG, said: “We are thrilled to announce we have recently received £5000 from the National Lottery, Awards for All for our next programme which commences in April.

“The research evidence for the benefits of spending time outdoors is growing constantly and clients have stated how helpful this outdoor focus has been.”