In late 2020 the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) was awarded a grant of £544,565 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for its Green Space for Health programme. The grant provided a year of funding for three workstreams.
- Revitalisation of the NHS Forest network – a network for NHS sites working to improve green space at their sites for the benefit of patients, staff, and the wider community and for biodiversity. This included relaunch of the NHS Forest website, holding a conference and engaging with NHS sites about their green space, including an outreach programme to plant 10,000 trees funded through the project at an estimated 50 NHS sites.
- A project embedding three Nature Recovery Rangers at five NHS sites (three main locations – Liverpool, London, and Bristol) where they worked with existing green space leads to take forward multiple, small-scale, on-site nature conservation activities, engaging staff, patients and the wider community. As part of this project, we also employed ranger interns and ran student placements.
- A staff wellbeing project offering outdoor wellbeing sessions at five NHS sites for up to 60 NHS staff at risk from workplace stress, and subsequent training for two staff at each site to run further sessions internally.
An evaluation plan for the project was devised in consultation with our academic adviser, Valerie Gladwell, then at the University of Essex, now at the University of Suffolk. Our report sets out results of our evaluation and outlines the legacy plans for the project.