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Restoring the link between people and woodlands

Human rights and woodland wellbeing


Human Rights Day (Monday 10th December 2018), and Carer’s Rights Day (Friday 30th November 2018) are key milestones every year, when we can all commit to making our world a fairer, more equal place.

The right to equality

The Actif Woods Wales programme run by Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) is changing people’s lives across Wales. Even in 2018 so much of our society still feels marginalised some 70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human rights (10th December 1948) was first agreed. At Small Woods we believe that everyone has the right to equality, health and wellbeing, education, work and a full and active role in their community, whatever their circumstances.

Actif Woods Wales is our innovative woodland health and wellbeing programme aimed at adults who are aged over 25 years old who are long term unemployed or economically inactive. It is open to people who either have a work limiting health condition, are a carer or are aged over 54 years. The programme gives people across Wales the chance to find a supportive community, exercise, discover new skills, and renew confidence and wellbeing, while caring for the environment.

The right to health and wellbeing

We all have the right to healthcare and access to support if we are out of work, ill, are a carer or can’t earn a living for reasons outside of our control. Getting out and about in the woods can help with:

  • Stress, depression and anxiety
  • Exercise and weight loss
  • Recovery from brain injury
  • Drug, alcohol abuse and smoking
  • Aging and dementia
  • Isolation and lack of confidence
  • And more.

Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) works closely with partner organisations to reach individuals who would most benefit from improved health and wellbeing, such as specialists in:

  • Mental health (e.g. MIND, Hafal)
  • Physical health (e.g. Wales National Exercise Referral Scheme)
  • Medicine, with opportunities for Social Prescribing (e.g. GPs, Health Boards, hospitals)
  • Addiction (e.g. Drug Aid, Drink Wise Age Well)
  • Carer organisations (e.g. Ceredigion Carers)
  • And Housing Associations (e.g. Tai Ceredigion)
  • Employment and Careers (e.g. Job Centres)

The right to education and work

Our Actif Wods Wales programme is the focus of a three-year PhD study by Bangor University, funded by KESS (Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships) and the Woodland Trust. Early results are starting to reveal connections with woodland activities, confidence and career building. Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) also works with employment and career guidance organisations to offer empowering learning opportunities through a huge array of woodland activities, including woodland walks, bush craft, conservation, campfire cooking, foraging, mindfulness and more. Plus, there are opportunities to complete OCN accredited courses (e.g. Hand tool use).


Coed Lleol and Carers Rights Day 2018 – 30 Nov 2018

Every year ahead of Human Rights Day is Carers Rights Day on 30th November 2018. In June 2018 new research by Carers UK revealed the toll that caring can take on many carers’ own health and wellbeing. “Almost three quarters (72%) of carers in the UK said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring, while well over half (61%) said their physical health had worsened”.

Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) is offering the opportunity for carer organisations to discover the wonders of our Actif Woods Wales programme for improving carer health and wellbeing. Do you know carers who would like time out to relax? To meet new people and develop new skills? Carers can join us to unwind and have fun in the tranquillity of local woodlands. We have programmes running in Ceredigion, Anglesey, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merythr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wrexham. Speak to a local Woodland Mentor and find support for carers in your area: www.coedlleol.org.uk/actif-woods-wales

Ceredigion Carers – Carers Rights Day event – 30 Nov 2018

Carers Rights Day takes place every year in November. Ceredigion County Council’s Carers Unit and partners are running a free event for local carers. Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) will be at the event. Come and chat to us and find out about our new Woodland Wellbeing For Carers programme starting in early 2019, for carers in Ceredigion: Actif Woods Wales Aberystwyth

Friday 30th November 2018, 10.30am – 3.30pm. Free. The Old College, King Street, Aberystwyth, SY23 2AX