The Support Programme is pioneering new support sessions aimed at getting young people out into nature:
The Support Programme provides tailored support (both 1:1 and in group settings), built around the specific needs of the young people who are accessing it. We work closely together to develop a deep understanding of who the young person is, how they like to learn, and what they would like to achieve in their lives.
And through this support we, The Support Programme help, young people make their ambitions a reality, at the pace that works for them. We run regular sessions designed to enhance communication skills, motivation and confidence, provide advice on how to access courses and employment, and also provide support with CV writing, job applications and job interviews.
All of the young people we support have a safe space to talk through whatever difficulties they are facing in their lives, including those who are not in education, employment or training, those experiencing conflict at home or within the family, young people who have encountered discrimination, those who are isolated from people their own age, or those who are experiencing poor mental health. We work together to make positive changes happen, regardless of their circumstances. We also work closely with their families and partner agencies, to ensure that every aspect of the young person’s life is considered.
Nature, and its varied environments, habitats and residents, can have a profound positive impact on our wellbeing and mental health. Our senses can be lifted by the soothing sound of birdsong, or just being in the presence of water. Nature doesn’t ask anything of you, other than to listen, watch and to immerse yourself. The transformational experience of being in nature, is like nothing else. The more you tap into what is going on around you, the better and more centred you will feel.
16-24 years olds are the most active users of social media, and over-use has been linked to depression and anxiety. There is a risk that young people are becoming too dependent on electronic devices, social media and gaming, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Green space and nature are a powerful antidote to being enclosed in a virtual world. Bristol and the South West are full to the brim with stunning green spaces, coastlines and countryside. But you don’t have to travel to rural or coastal areas to access green space. Our towns and cities are full of nature – you just need to look for it. Parks, commons, nature reserves and city farms are all free!
Accessing green space has many advantages. The natural world can enable learning, providing a more stimulating environment than the traditional classroom setting. It provides a huge canvas for learning, which is literally endless. Once you are in a green space, you will encounter a wide array of wildlife species, trees and fauna. Take a look around…what can you see? What can you hear? What is growing there? Which creatures live there?
We need to create opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to access nature, and support them to take them up. At Babbasa, we are strengthening The Support Programme by taking its sessions and learning into nature.
The natural environment beautifully enhances the work that The Support Programme already does, providing a tranquil setting for young people to learn and grow.
We are planning a Learning in Nature session for the final week of July, which will be an opportunity for young people to reconnect with everything that nature provides, while developing their team working and communications skills.
The attendees will have the opportunity to meet other young people, learn more about the natural world, and work collaboratively on an exciting practical activity.