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Walk on a Wednesday

“This programme has encouraged me to build the confidence to leave the house (besides running errands) for the purpose of relaxing, self reflection and socialising. The weekly structure motivated me to commit to each session despite feeling low on some occasions. But once I attend, I feel positive, active and refreshed. This programme has been invaluable for me and I hope it will continue in the future.”

 Attendee

Walk on a Wednesday was a successful green prescribing project we ran in February and March 2022, in Palmer park. It was a six week programme funded by The National Academy of Social PrescribingThriving Communities Fund . We are lucky to be part of a consortia project with Reading Voluntary Action, and we're under the umbrella of the Reading  Green Wellbeing Network with other horticultural and nature-based organisations. 

Partnering with British Islamic Gardens and working closely with Shaheen, Director at British Islamic Gardens, we created Walk on a Wednesday.

We designed the project to respond to the request from the Reading Green Wellbeing Network to meet a need for women only walks to serve BME communities. 

Working with British Islamic gardens, mosques in Reading, The Berkshire Muslim Ladies Group and other partners in the area, we got the word out.

Fifteen women came regularly to walk and participate in each week’s walk, enriched with visiting guest specialists, spanning  nature connection, art and mindfulness. There are seldom used concrete table tennis tables in the park so one week we made use of them. One day we all clibed aboard the giant dragon boat swing!

Coming together in a facilitated group creates permission to play in a safe and trusted atmosphere. The icing on the cake was our partnership up with Tutu’s Ethiopian Table, a cafe in the park and budgeted for everyone to have a free hot drink.

One week, Natalie (Nature Nurture's Director) brought art materials, pastels and watercolours. 

We walked for a while and then we just drew and painted the trees. That was a very special session, as soon as I got the clipboards and the art materials out, there was beautiful silence and everyone looked like they were completely mesmerised and really in the moment…

Alice, a yoga teacher and mindfulness expert took participants through different body movements and breathing, connecting with the natural environment.

 

Never would have ever thought that I would be meeting up with such a diverse group of women. The women I have been meeting up with would have been one I would have passed on the street but not acknowledge. Busy in my own little world. But I have found that there is so many similarity and diversity amongst us. We have laughed, talked, joked and played with such joy and fun. Never would I have thought that this would be possible - a mixture of cultures. Absolutely wonderful. But appreciating the world- the idea of seeing beauty in a tree, the sky. Amazing. It has been a very enlightening and joyful experience and more of these meeting of diverse people can only help to bring communities closer. Thank you all for having me. A beautiful experience.

Janet