Volunteers in London

Green Gym's positive impact on perceptions of pain

You are here

A woman clearing nettles on a Green Gym

Chronic (long term) pain and depression are often linked. This radio production from Pain Concern discusses the positive impact TCV's Green Gym can have on people's perceptions of pain with TCV staff, health professionals and participants.

Green Gym volunteers gain enormous practical benefits and some have had life-changing experiences – beginning new careers, tackling long-standing health issues and building precious friendship networks. During this radio piece some of our participants eloquently detail how they manage their recovery from, or management of their condition.

Be sure to listen to the very end where Rosie gives a moving tribute.

Ongoing financial constraints on the health and social care system are placing significant strain on the NHS and social care provision. The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) recognised the opportunity to rethink how we get to grips with some of the demographic, health and lifestyle challenges we are facing, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society by developing the Green Gym programme.

Green Gym is an evidence based, award winning programme, run across the UK by TCV, the community volunteering charity, combining physical activity with local environmental projects. It was launched in 1998 and there are now more than 100 Green Gyms in the UK. Green Gyms are run in two ways – directly by TCV, and by community groups under licence from TCV.

Engaging with our communities has been shown to boost our happiness, as we form a sense of belonging, building our confidence and learning new skills – making us more resilient. Green Gym has taken these principles and coupled them with physical exercise and nature. The result is a hugely popular model that combats the underlying causes of poor physical and mental health while forming new social groups.

Find a Green Gym near you or start a new Green Gym