The benefits of leaving the sofa and braving the great outdoors are well known! We all feel better once we have been outside and, especially when you have been bereaved and may have ‘run out of words’, simply spending time in nature with others in the same situation can be a truly comforting experience.
So we were delighted to team up with National Trust volunteers at Arlington Court for our very first Wellbeing Walk on Monday 23rd October 2023.
A group of five families with 11 children of primary school age – all of whom had been bereaved – pulled on their wellies and went into the woods for a good walk and scavenger hunt. The focus was on play, having fun and connecting with others – plus, of course, enjoying a hot drink and cake afterwards! Each family then tapped into their creative skills and decorated their own wooden Christmas tree to take home.
National Trust provided three walking volunteers while three family support volunteers from Families in Grief also took part.
Feedback from families
“Nice location and it was good to reconnect with other families from our FiG group”
“Walking with a group and purpose helped my child walk further and there was no pressure to walk or talk”
“My child loved the decorating”
“Beautiful scenery – lots of places for a rest”
“We enjoyed painting the trees and being around other people in the same situation”
“It was a good chance to be outside, with the girls”
“The whole walk was lovely”
Kate Tregellas, Volunteering and Community Officer for National Trust, says: “We are always keen to work with local charities for them to make the most of all Arlington Court has to offer. We know the incredible therapeutic mental and physical benefits being in nature can bring – our first Wellbeing Walk in conjunction with Families in Grief was a really positive experience and we look forward to creating new walking opportunities next year.”
National Trust and Families in Grief are now planning further seasonal Wellbeing Walks for bereaved families in 2024 to tie in with half-term holidays. So watch this space!