Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation appeals for public support for a project to help mental wellness through nature in the South West 

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Authored by Mary
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 22:33

]Ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Butterfly Conservation, the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies, moths and the environment, has launched a crowdfunded appeal for the Social Butterflies project, aimed at alleviating poor mental health in south west England through interaction with and care for the natural world.

The project has been made possible by an award from Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery - but a further £7,000 is needed in order to fully realise the ambition and impact of the project.

Following the success of a project last year in Devon and Somerset called All the Moor Butterflies (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) which developed new links with the NHS Health Trust, the Social Butterflies project aims to develop further partnerships with health trusts and research bodies across the South West.

Megan Lowe, Senior Engagement and Development Officer at Butterfly Conservation said: “For those struggling with mental health, treatment can often be medication rather than mitigation, but scientific research has shown that there are strong links between our mental well-being and how connected we are to nature. 

“With the growing concerns around the state of people’s mental health amid the pandemic, this project is now needed more than ever. In August a report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the rates of depression had almost doubled during the pandemic. A Natural England ‘People in Nature’ survey showed that in May, during lockdown, eight out of 10 adults agreed that “being in nature makes me very happy”.

“Butterflies are emblems of change and growth and we’ve seen through our previous project the huge benefits to people who are provided with the opportunity to spend time in nature doing positive work for conservation.”

“This project will enable us to explore how we can work together with a range of partners to make the healing effects of nature accessible to many more people. The objective is to create training course materials, identify locations where this inspirational course can be replicated in future years and connect with local partners who could promote, support and benefit from this work. We are incredibly grateful for any donations from people who can support this project.”

As one contributor to the crowdfunder page has written: “I get so much more from interacting with nature than I can ever put back into it. Supporting a project like this has a doubling effect of helping wildlife and giving others the opportunity to experience its delights and well-being effects.”

To find out more about the project or donate please go to: 
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/boost-mental-health-with-butterflies#start

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