The natural health service

Download (PDF 1.57MB)

Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bristol have funded the Off The Record (OTR) charity which offers a range of services for young people to improve their mental health and wellbeing. OTR has piloted nature based activities with young people that use different delivery styles and formats. This report details the impact of three micro projects. The Woodland Warmer project involves mindfulness, walking, bush craft and spending time with animals on the farm. The aim of this project was to support young people to transition out of winter and into spring as this is the time of year with the highest suicide rates. Healthwatch found that delivering this service in partnership with existing organisations led to expertise being shared and that specialist mental health workers with the connection to OTR ensured that further needs were responded to effectively. The New Roots Drop in Allotment was run by wellbeing practitioners offering a relaxed setting to complete practical tasks. Activities included building a pizza oven, planting vegetables, and building raised beds. Attendees were those who had been seen by the workers at the OTR hub and had not seen posters or been recommended by others. This demonstrates that relationships are key to building up this service. The Bristol Walks group provided an opportunity for young people to go outdoors and explore the city. There was a relatively low attendance rate, possibly due to the unstructured nature of the group which could be daunting for some. Each micro-project showed positive outcomes for the individuals who accessed them, and received very positive feedback from the young people. The main challenge for the projects was engaging numbers of young people which we believe was difficult for a range of reasons. In Spring 2019, the OTR will be offering a weekly allotment drop in, 1:1 therapeutic sessions, sign up therapeutic groups, A Community Kitchen and regular seasonal groups in collaboration with specialist organisations.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
The natural health service
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bristol
Date of publication 
Monday, 3 December, 2018
Type of report 
Impact or progress
Key themes 
Holistic support
Other information of note about this report 
Meaningful Activities
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider

Details of health and care services included in the report

Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not applicable
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible Impact (cost related)

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.