Prince's Trust Natural Wellness Programme
Glasgow Clyde College, Firhill Youth Project & Community Sports Hub and Herbal Homestead have created an innovative partnership, the 'Natural Wellness Programme', to help 16-24 year old Prince's Trust students get involved with sustainable activities. This Natural Wellness Programme ran for four weeks and involved rowing along the canal side at Firhill, foraging at the local Claypits Nature Reserve, and harvesting natural materials for making crafts, including using abundant 'weeds' for their handmade moisturiser... ideal for water sporting hands! The activities were also great for wellness and confidence boosting, helping them to become more resilient as adults.
Moreover, these creative and newly skilled young people also helped to develop a short 'Natural Wellness Programme video-postcard' of their work and experiences, which was showcased at an online, global conference on education for sustainable development on 16-18 November. The hands-on, experiential learning the young people have accomplished indeed reflect the conference's aim of 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises' of which, it should be noted, this complimentary mix of organisations helped achieve an impressive 6 of the 17 global goals, foremost, No. 3 Good Health and Wellbeing, No. 4 Quality Education and No.17 Partnerships for the Goals.
Prince's Trust (Glasgow Clyde College) Team Leader, Jacqui Kennedy had been following the work she saw on social media from Herbal Homestead (an outdoor education and foraging specialist) and Firhill Youth Project (a rowing and water sports activity hub that aims to positively impact lives in the North Glasgow community) and set up a meeting...the rest is history. Jacqui stated, "The Natural Wellness Programme was a fantastic opportunity for students to get back out into the community, build new skills, qualifications and achieve a Dynamic Youth Award and I look forward to future projects together!"
Outdoor educator Lauren Lochrie of Herbal Homestead said, "Foraging is a great way for us to slow down and tune into natures seasonal rhythms and abundance which we so often get out of sync with. I was particularly impressed by the students' keen eye because once they took notice of different plant identification cues, they started noticing them everywhere! I was also happily surprised at how interested the group were when working with essential oils and plants to make a moisturiser for outdoor hands - they really looked chuffed with themselves".
When asked what he enjoyed the most from the Natural Wellness Programme, student Jack (19 years) says that he "found the foraging and cream making interesting, but even though I'm 50:50 with water, I most enjoyed the rowing, it was a really nice experience", Saoirse (21) stated that "I found most enjoyable the foraging part of the course, learning about different plants and about what we could do with them that we didn't know"
Aimee Williams, Project Coordinator and Lead Coach at Firhill Youth Project and Community Sports Hub added that "we are very privileged to a have been working with this incredible group of young people over the past two months and help them realise their potential both on and off the water!"