The Green Gym at Skelton Grange started life as a piloted project with local Clinical Commission Group (CCG) funding.
With strong positive feedback – from both participants and the TCV team – funding from The National Lottery was applied for to allow the Green Gym to continue after the CCG funding ran out.
Without the £9,996 grant from The National Lottery Awards for All, the Skelton Grange Green Gym would not have been able to continue.
This funding has allowed the team at Skelton Grange to run at least one session per week over the year, including staffing, resources, travel expenses and training for Volunteer Officers.
I don’t get out to do much exercise if I’m not at Skelton Grange. I do 4 hours of exercise at Green Gym every week – double what I do when I don’t attend!Skelton Grange Green Gym volunteer
The sessions at the Green Gym followed a routine each week, which helped to provide a sense of order for the volunteers with particularly chaotic home lives, as well as for those on the autistic spectrum for whom change can be challenging.
Of the volunteers at the Green Gym, 13 had additional support needs and 11 stated they had depression and/or anxiety. Whilst it seems a small matter, the funding received allowed for the time and resources to ensure that the sessions were inclusive for all those who attended and created a safe and relaxing environment for all.
Sessions started with a cup of tea and a catch-up, before moving on to preparing a vegetarian lunch which then cooked while the volunteers were out for the morning.
Food is a vital part of the Green Gym, as it helps to support social connections and healthy lifestyles. For some of the more socially isolated volunteers, this is their only group meal of the week.
I don’t know that I’d do without Green Gym at the moment – home life isn’t good.Skelton Grange Green Gym volunteer
Outdoor activities are based around looking after the 10-acre site at Skelton Grange, including everything from managing the vegetable garden, meadow work, path maintenance and woodland management.
The group also took regular opportunities to go for nature walks and carry out habitat surveys, as well as crafts and green woodwork when the weather forced the group inside!
I’ve never done green woodworking before, I love it – I could spend hours just using the shavehorse, it’s so relaxing.Skelton Grange Green Gym volunteer
- Overall, 61 participants took part in the Green Gym, exceeding the total of 40.
- 543 days of volunteer time were committed, and 54 Green Gym sessions were delivered.
- Each session had an average of 10 participants, with each participant attending an average of 7 sessions each.
- The age range of our participants spanned from 15 – 90 years old, with the average age being 43. Also, there was almost on equal number of male and female participants; 31 males and 30 females.
Thank you to The National Lottery for funding the Green Gym at Skelton Grange. Without their generous support, the incredible work carried out by our volunteers wouldn’t have been possible.
2019 has been a very special year for The Conservation Volunteers as we celebrate our 60th birthday. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the first draw of The National Lottery, on 19th November.
Since 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community. That’s around £30 million contributed to good causes each week by players of The National Lottery.
TCV has received an incredible £5million plus in funding from The National Lottery, which has allowed us to reconnect people to green spaces, providing positive outcomes for both.
To celebrate the amazing work that we have been able to achieve with The National Lottery funding, we want to share with you some of our past, present and future work.
Over the coming weeks, we will be showing some of the work that has been enabled by this funding and sharing exactly how The Conservation Volunteers use the money received from The National Lottery.