Loneliness is an important factor contributing to higher levels of stress. People’s sense of isolation and reduced ability to connect with others has been particularly heightened during the covid pandemic. Enliven Edinburgh offered opportunities for people to connect and reconnect.

The Green Team took up the challenge from Enliven Edinburgh to create ‘More Good Days’ for people who were feeling isolated or wanted to try something new. We created a series of outdoor sessions involving adults mostly from minority ethnic communities, in partnership with Saheliya and The Welcoming. Many participating came from Sudan or Syria and were fairly new to Edinburgh. There was often little English spoken, but we luckily had at least one person in each group who could translate. And sometimes the actions spoke for themselves!

A series of days in July were offered along with childcare provision so that women could attend and spend quality time with each other. Taxis and lunch were also provided to ensure that everyone could attend.

Sessions involved exploring a wild place in the city and a practical conservation task. Tasks included clearing invasive species, cutting back vegetation and clearing weeds.

We also introduced our groups to some nature connection and wellbeing activities such as mindfulness walking, nature sit spot and art in nature. We used Kelly kettles to boil hot water outdoors and we taught basic fire lighting skills to the participants.

We worked, we talked and we laughed so much…the woods provided a beautiful space just to be together.

We are looking forward to continuing our new partnerships with Saheliya and The Welcoming and to many ‘More Good Days’.

“This day has been so good.”

“I enjoyed everything about this day.”