World Mental Health Day 2022 was this week.. After following last year’s theme of ‘Isolation’ this year the mental health foundation has announced the theme for this year is ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’
Life almost seems like it has gone back to normal but for some the aftermath of Covid has left individuals and groups vulnerable and lonely. Whether this has stemmed from loved ones passing or vital relationships that have been lost over the pandemic, it can leave people with nowhere to turn to. We can relate and, with social media being prevalent and a powerful tool in today’s society, it can only take a post or a link to a counsellors page or a local social group, that may help pull someone out of a dark space.
Here are links to projects and activities in your local area which can help you re-build personal relationships and connections. We have identified 3 ways:
Connecting to nature
When you think about connecting with nature, you think of going on walks and being in the
outdoors. But what many may forget is that connecting with the animals within those green spaces are just as important as they help keep the eco system alive. ‘Owl of Bird of Prey Sanctuary’ based in the Turbary Woods, Preston gives you the opportunity to connect to nature if you are a massive animal lover or have younger children. Turbary Woods Rescue and Rehabilitation centre ‘offers a unique collection of over ninety birds of prey including eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures and more unusual species.’ With experience days to flying shows and meeting the birds, you can surround yourself around the bird’s natural habitat and learn more about the different ecosystems they belong too. Not only is it a fun way to get outdoors but for younger children there is an opportunity to learn and be educated on the various species to look out for that may be in your local
area. And with it funded by the public it costs a reasonable £10 for an adult ticket and £5 for a children’s admission and OAP for free. And with it open all year round you can watch the seasons change and learn how the amazing birds in your area, adapt and connect to the nature around them.
One of the top-rated parks based in Preston is Haslam Park. With stunning woods, apple orchards and various green spaces. Sitting alongside the Lancashire canal, it still to this day has unique features from when it was first built. In 1908 ‘Miss Mary Haslam presented the town of Preston with an estate comprising 46 acres farmland, to be laid out as a public park, with the condition that a large part should always be reserved for quiet recreation apart from games.’ With its diverse landscape it is used for several types of activities for people from all age groups, whether your running, walking your dog, playing sports with friends or just taking in the nature whilst walking. With a dog friendly rating, you can bring your pooch on your walk and let them enjoy the vast space.
Activity and hobby days
Days out can take a lot of planning and can be costly as a family, so finding something the whole family are interested in is important. It is said that families that share everyday activities together form a strong, emotional ties. Spending quality time can help strengthen personal as well as emotional relationships within the family dynamic. ‘Picniq’ is the No1 day out idea and ticket destination for families in the UK, originally founded by mother of three Claire who was on maternity leave with her three children and was stuck for inspiration on where to go out. The website prides itself on bringing ease to parents and finding the best deals on all tickets, events, and attractions. In the area of Preston there are sixty-two attractions, ranging from activities for children to adults. Each attraction has a detailed description on what the location facilitates and whether its suitable for children, indoor or outdoor, or wheelchair accessible. You can scroll and plan with confidence of
other ratings and choose the day out which is suitable for you and your family.
Days out can be fun as well as educational, museums and art galleries are the perfect balance and, in most cases, completely free. For history buffs and art lovers finding a historical place to visit for the day is a great way to immerse yourself in and around history, with the chance to go back in time to a when life was so different. Harris Museum, Art Gallery, and Library in Preston, ‘opened as a library in 1879 in the basement in the Town Hall while a public museum and reference library containing the Dr Shepherd Collection was established in Cross Street. The success of the libraries and museum encouraged the committee to pursue the erection of a purpose-built library and museum building in
the centre of Preston using funds from the Harris Bequest. However, Preston Corporation had to find land for development. an Act of Parliament and the Preston Improvement Act was passed in 1880 Work started on the new building in 1882 and it was officially opened in 1893.’ Since then, the museum has grown in funding and is a staple within the community, with local charity and fundraisers bringing people together within the area through the history of the town. And it is not just for young adults but they’re exhibits, and library sections catered to younger children, so you can get the whole family involved too. There is a chance to learn about the community you live in and experience the life of others many year ago.
Volunteering can be a great steppingstone for young adults, giving you time to strengthen
communication, teamwork skills and a new founded confidence. Employers now more than ever are looking for candidates that stand out from others and volunteering is one of the things they seek out when taking on individuals for certain job roles. Not only does it look great on your CV, but it can give you an insight into the public sector and that knowledge can be transferred to similar jobs in the future. Preston city council relies on volunteers in the area from all backgrounds and walks of life, with a great work ethic and a passion to give back to others within the community. There are local green groups that offer various volunteering opportunities these range from: Friends of the park, litter pickers conservation work to council volunteers. There is a range of job roles so you can scroll through them and find one that is suitable for you as an individual and one that fits around your own time. Most are flexible and have little to no hours of volunteering, so you can complete them over a
large space of time, this may be appropriate if you are a student in school or have a busy work life. Down below is links to the council website and their volunteering tab with a list of opportunities for you to apply for today.
Most of your local areas are managed by the council, which includes green spaces and parks but places like neighbourhoods and other housing areas have less people employed to clear up rubbish left behind by others. And whilst the council does have people to sweep over these areas, they may not get enough funding to bring people in and this is where we rely on local volunteers to help pick up the rest. ‘Preston Green Volunteers’ is a group that pride themselves on being green thumbed in and around the area. They recruit local members of the community to volunteer their time to clean rubbish that has been left in areas to make a difference to environment in the future. As well as meeting up via their local Facebook group, they also host various advents such as fares and walks, to celebrate nature with other likeminded people. For people with a passion for the outdoors or gardening this can be a great way to give back to your community and make new connections with people as one team.
If you find your relationships need more support or if you want to work on your own behaviours and concerns in the way you interact with others, contact us for more information. Relate Cross Pennine is a registered charity servicing relationship counselling, individual counselling, marriage counselling, children's and young people’s counselling, family counselling and sex therapy around the West Yorkshire and Lancashire area.
To find out more or to contact us today, you can find us here