The NHS Forest is supporting the Making Local Woods Work project to help woodland social enterprises to understand, evaluate and communicate their impact on people’s health.

Woodland social enterprises (WSEs) exist in a host of shapes and sizes, and Making Local Woods Work seeks to support them to become more sustainable. One of the areas of support these WSEs have identified as being of use to them is being able to quantify the impact of their day to day activities on the health and wellbeing of their participants.

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) is teaming up with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and eQeOUTDOORS to deliver this commission, which will not only research and identify appropriate evaluation tools available to WSEs, but will also begin to inform WSEs in implementing wellbeing impact evaluations in a participative and productive way.

Ben Williams, Programme Lead at CSH, said, “It’s great that we are able to bring together this partnership to support this important initiative. The power of woodland social enterprises to deliver health outcomes either alongside or as a direct result of their core business is potentially very significant, and being able to measure and communicate this impact can often add another element to the ongoing sustainability of these small businesses. We are really excited to be getting underway with this work”.

The project will run until September 2017 funded through the National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund.

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