Health & Wellbeing

Through the work of TCV, people improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing, by being outdoors, active and connected with others

A wide range of TCV activities provide opportunities to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing through physical activity and social interaction.

TCV’s Green Gym programme, provides an alternative to traditional gym or fitness activities. Green Gym improves health and wellbeing through group-based physical activity with a purpose.

Green Gym consists of fun and free outdoor sessions that improve green spaces. The emphasis is very much on improving the physical and mental health and wellbeing of those involved, while forming new social groups.

Green Gym - Exercise to make a difference

TCV created and runs Green Gyms across the UK.

Green Gyms are fun and free outdoor sessions where you will be guided in practical activities such as planting trees, clearing play areas, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds.

Participants take part in a wide range of worthwhile activities, improving strength, flexibility, mental wellbeing and feelings of optimism.

Find out more about Green Gym

Enabling the potential of social prescribing

A summary of the issues affecting longer-term Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector funding for social prescribing including views from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two surveys were conducted – the first survey component of this report before the outbreak of COVID-19, and the second not long after the first peak had passed. This summary reflects the fact that the extent of the pandemic’s effects on social structure, the economy, public wellbeing and the VCSE sector is just starting to emerge.

We’ve also produced a guide to support social prescribing programmes in England.

Download the report [PDF]

Social Prescribing

Because of our experience and strong links across the health, academic and wider charitable sectors, we were asked to lead part of the national development programme on social prescribing, working closely with VCSE colleague, the NHS, universities and interested groups across the UK.

TCV’s Green Gym programme, now in its 20th year, is already part of the social prescribing approach, reflecting its positive impact on both physical health and mental wellbeing.

Because of our experience and strong links across the health, academic and the wider charitable sectors we have been chosen to lead a national programme on social prescribing working closely with the NHS, universities and community groups across the UK. This important work is funded by a National Lottery grant from the the National Lottery Community Fund.

Find out more about Social prescribing

Health Walks

TCV’s guided Health Walks are short, friendly walks lasting no longer than an hour. Anyone can join in. These walks are designed to encourage active lifestyles and would benefit anyone looking to improve their health and wellbeing.

The routes are easy, avoiding tricky terrain, steep hills and stiles where possible and our friendly, volunteer Walk Leaders are there to support you every step of the way.

Health Walks provide a pleasant way to gradually improve health and well-being and could be for you if you are recovering from illness or injury, getting little exercise or lacking in confidence and self-esteem. Having said that, the majority of walkers stay because they enjoy the social aspects of taking part and meeting new people! Our free Health Walks take place at various places around the country.

Find a Health Walk near you

TCV supports the 5 ways to wellbeing (developed by the New Economics Foundation)

Five ways to wellbeing graphic