Building Natural Capital
We did it
On 1st September 2020 we successfully raised £1,300 with 22 supporters in 182 days

Improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Fort William by helping them make best use of the superb surrounding natural environment

by Ewen's Room in Fort William, Scotland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Collaborate with local outdoor activity companies to run taster sessions for up to 25 young people who would not otherwise be able to enjoy such a range of experiences.


Fort William is at the foot of Ben Nevis in Lochaber, an area referred to as The Outdoor Capital of the UK due to its outstanding natural environment and wide range of opportunities for outdoor pursuits.  

There is a wealth of evidence that spending time outdoors in nature is beneficial for mental health and wellbeing. We therefore see this resource around us as ‘Natural Capital’ available to everyone and so we want to find out how to maximise these benefits for young people in Fort William. 

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If apparent ease of access to the outdoors was the only determinant of mental health and wellbeing though, this area should also be famous for being The Wellbeing and Happiness Capital of the UK. However, this is far from being the case for the young people of the town and surrounding areas, which have experienced a high level of self-inflicted death and problematic substance use in recent years. 

The aims of our project are to investigate existing barriers to local young people using the outdoors, and to consider and test ways of encouraging such involvement to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing, leading to improved mental health and enjoyment of life.

We propose that Ewen's Room will collaborate with another local charity, The Buzz Project, to deliver a series of focus-groups and engage with local young people in research to find out:

  • How young people in Fort William currently use the natural environment surrounding the town
  • What the benefits are for those who do regularly engage in outdoor activities
  • What the barriers are for those that do not
  • How to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the area

Support for the Project

"Green Health Highland and the Highland Green Health Partnership aim to increase outdoor activity across Highland, especially amongst disadvantaged groups; increase people’s awareness of the health benefits of outdoor activities in their communities; and to demonstrate impact to support future green health activities. As such we are very supportive of projects such as this that seek the same outcomes."

Tania Alliod - Green Health Events Project Officer, Green Health Highland

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About Ewen’s Room

Ewen’s Room is a small charity that promotes wellbeing and mental health in Lochaber, the Small Isles and Mull.  We achieve this by taking proactive approaches to maintaining wellbeing and preventing mental health problems arising by: 

  • Delivering workshops on emotional wellbeing and building resilience
  • Running drop-in groups across the area to reduce social isolation
  • Delivering mental health awareness to local school pupils
  • Providing a school counsellor to support young people in several local High Schools
  • Co-delivering Green Exercise initiatives 
  • Running a confidential Helpline and Textline
  • Working to ensure that everyone in the area has access to the support they need to overcome difficulties associated with problems of wellbeing and mental health

About The Buzz Project

The mission of the Buzz Project is to enable young people in the Lochaber area of the Highlands of Scotland to identify and fulfil their potential. They enable young people to express their needs, wants and ideas with confidence, develop increased self-awareness and learn skills which will benefit them in life, in education and the workplace. The Buzz Project runs Studio Two on Fort William High Street and also has its own refurbished bus, providing a mobile music studio and teaching area using music as a medium for communication, expression, learning skills for the future and building relationships.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Our gratitude and public acknowledgment. Your name will be included on our crowdfunding wall on www.ewensroom.com. Thank you for believing in our project!

£60 or more

1 of 5 claimed

2 hour Forest Bathing experience for 4 people

A Forest Bathing experience for up to four people in the Ariundle Woodland or the Ardery Woods (with the option of a short trip to the Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide afterwards)*. This will be led by Hugh. For more details about Forest Bathing and its benefits go to www.wherecloudsaremade.com *There is the option of meeting in another wood or forest in West Lochaber by arrangement. (Valid after October 2020 subject to Covid-19 Restrictions)

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