Back to Nature: Recovery Project at Phoenix Futures Shipley Park

Recovery from Drugs in nature
Read the full article in DDN magazine

Phoenix Futures describe how guests at their recent Shipley Park open day were able to witness the positive impact a beautiful natural setting can have on recovery.

Phoenix Futures’ Shipley Park project hosted an open day on 27 June to showcase the project and demonstrate how it’s supporting people on their recovery journeys. The day was very well attended, with more than 80 visitors accepting our invitation – with the help of glorious sunshine!

Our guests had the freedom of our site at Shipley Park estate for the day, while our service users split into small groups and positioned themselves around the site offering guided tours of the various projects and discussing future plans. They were also on hand to discuss the positive impact of the project on their individual recovery journeys.

Our visitors were able to witness how those accessing the project have taken ownership of it and how they have not only experienced a positive approach and positive outcomes to their substance use but in many cases how the project has supported their mental health as well. We managed to showcase the importance of nature as an additional opportunity in treatment – who doesn’t enjoy a walk outdoors in nature?

The fact that natural settings are less and less accessible to those who live in cities or towns should be a cause for concern, especially with respect to overall health and wellbeing. Research continuously shows that nature has multiple benefits for our wellbeing, and our guests went away seeing first hand how this is proved through our own ‘Recovery through Nature’ project.

Guests were treated to a BBQ lunch, in which many took advantage of the green space to experience the therapeutic value of our natural setting. There were lots of positive discussions during the day, with a range of valuable networking opportunities. As such we can only grow in strength as we expand the opportunities we can offer to our service users.

In turn these opportunities will increase the positive experiences of all who attend. We are planning more open and activity days at Shipley Park in the near future. This means more people will be able to visit us and experience the positive impacts on treatment and, as our networking increases, we can continue to break down the stigma around substance misuse.

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