The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has launched its Green Health Hub by hosting an open day on its Cynefin site in Carmarthen.

UWTSD has been working in partnership with Coed Lleol – Small Woods Wales over a number of years supporting the development of the Cynefin site to become a Green Health Hub, for the benefit of people across Carmarthenshire.

The Green Health Hub Cynefin project has received a total of £270,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The aim of the Green Health Hub Cynefin is to promote community mental health and wellbeing opportunities for community groups through access to local green spaces. It will work with several partners to run activities that promote wellbeing, social bonding, and knowledge of the natural world.

On Thursday the 18th January a launch event took place at Cynefin to celebrate the start of a year long project where UWTSD and Coed Lleol promoted health and wellbeing opportunities to local people. Coed Lleol offered the chance to sample a little of what can be expected from their programmes with some simple whittling, willow weaving and warm drinks around the fire.

Becky Brandwood-Cormack, Woodland Wellbeing Project Officer for Coed Lleol said:

“Our launch event was the perfect start to what looks set to be a successful and fulfilling year for us all at The Hub. A community was created around the fire with past participants coming, alongside those who are keen to join us this year. We also welcomed health professionals from Hywel Dda Health Board, local charities, CAVS and partner organisations. We hope to enable as many people as possible to benefit from gathering around a fire and learning new skills, meeting new people and connecting with the natural world. Cynefin is the perfect site to do this, and we encourage anyone interested to get in touch to find out more.”

Coed Lleol have been delivering free woodland wellbeing programmes across Wales for over 10 years, combining the natural world and activities set in woodland spaces to improve health and wellbeing. Their work offers opportunities for individuals to support their wellbeing with the NHS’s 5 ways to wellbeing as a framework (Give back, Take notice, Be active, Learn, Connect). They measure the impact this has on individuals who get involved and create optional pathways from participant to volunteer to activity leader.

Cynefin has been a key site for some of the Coed Lleol Carmarthenshire delivery in the past, which included programme themes of wellbeing and nature conservation, and celebrating the Spring season. Activities they specialise in are: Bushcraft, Foraging, Green Woodworking, Willow Weaving, Nature arts and crafts, Nature connection and mindfulness, Health Walk Leader training and other Agored Cymru accredited units.

Andrew Williams, Project and Engagement Officer for  UWTSD at Cynefin said:

“We want Green Health Hub Cynefin to be a place all feel welcome, a place of respite, friendship and growth. The activities we offer at Green Health Hub Cynefin take advantage of Cynefin’s beautiful setting to offer an opportunity to immerse oneself in nature, learn skills to get a little closer to natural living and take healthy, gently exercise among a supportive community.”

The Hub will offer a range of activities such as bushcraft, whittling, willow weaving, singing, natural dyes and inks, textiles, Welsh myths, foraging, natural medicine making, campfire cooking, storytelling, nature connection, seed planting, leathercraft and much more!

The activities will be run during monthly gatherings or as a delivery of 6 week programmes. The activities are open to all. Some activities will be for adults only, whilst others will be family focused.

To find out more, contact: Andrew Williams a.williams1@uwtsd.ac.uk