About Kirklees Natural Achievers:
Kirklees Natural Achievers ran weekly in Dewsbury based at Crow Nest Park. The project is aimed at men suffering poor mental health, learning difficulties or social isolation. The project’s objective was to improve well-being and mental health across Kirklees through physical activity in the natural environment.
The project helped to enhance a communal Millpond space. The Kirklees Natural Achievers group assisted in installing a dipping platform, helped gravel a new pathway along the bank, cleared the pond and site of litter, painted residents fences with woodstain and planted perennials/annuals to add colour to the area.
Children from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School planted bulbs and designed information boards to advise visitors of the dangers of feeding bread to ducks (and what to use instead) and a mini-beasts identification board. PPG had a corporate day with numerous staff members having the opportunity to get out of the office, visit the site and contribute by helping dig out the pathway and relocate some huge boulders.
A celebration event took place in November 2017 to promote the site & unveil the information boards which was attended by Froglife’s Kirklees Natural Achievers group, council staff, PPG publicity staff, the Deputy Mayor of Kirklees (Gwen Lowe), staff and children from St Joseph’s, the Millpond Support Group and members of the public.
The Millpond is situated in the heart of a residential area and adjacent to the mental health ward of Dewsbury Hospital. It is used by local residents, hospital staff and patients (and their family members) for recreation, relaxation and convalescence. Furthermore, since Froglife’s installation of the dipping platform, the local school plan to regularly visit with groups of children to undertake pond dipping and learn about pond minibeasts, lifecycles and habitats.
“I used to live near here as a child when it was still a mill, but haven’t been back since. I can’t believe the difference all the groups have made to the space. I love it here now!” – JD
“It helps just by being outdoors in a beautiful place surrounded by wildlife, but then I’m also able to contribute something and I feel like it is being valued. I’m not treated like a social outcast, I am respected and encouraged in all I do here, and I love working with all the different groups” -Previous project participant-
“I came across the Froglife project after looking for ‘outdoor’, ‘hands on’ activities for a service user I was working with. Having no care package in place, this was extremely difficult until I happened across Froglife. On reading about the project this quickly seemed like the perfect opportunity for my service user to engage with very meaningful activities which would be well suited to his needs. I got in touch with the Project Officer and discussed my referral who was very accepting and approachable. Since my service user began at Froglife I have been really pleased to see a huge increase in the service users’ self-esteem, confidence and engagement with others. The service user has reported to me that he loves the project and is really enthused about all he has done. I feel Froglife offers a huge opportunity for a vulnerable group of individuals who without such a service would otherwise be likely to experience contact with health services due to mental health/behavioural issues.” –Specialist Community Learning Disability Nurse: Kirklees Community Learning Disability Health Team, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust-
“I work with volunteers throughout Kirklees. The majority of clients I work with have additional needs and require some level of support (mostly clinets with mental health issues, Learning disabilities, Autism etc.). I find the Project Officer and her team provide a safe nuturing environment. The work they do builds confidence and maintains interest with a client group which can be sometimes difficult to place. I have seen some amazing results with some of the clients I have referred to Froglife. Their skill levels have improved along with confidence and self-esteem. Also the fact that the tasks they undertake add value to both the environment and community. I have nothing but praise for the project and the leadership and guidance that is provided.” -Support Worker: Kirklees Council-
|Millpond support group||3|
|St Joseph’s pupils + staff||34|
Kirklees Natural Achievers continued to meet weekly in Dewsbury until the end of March 2018. Froglife are currently looking for further funding for the project.
To find out more information about the project please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on Froglife’s other education projects, click here.