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Nature can have significant benefits on wellbeing

Truro event to boost older people’s wellbeing through nature

People with dementia and their carers are being invited to an interactive event which will discuss the significant benefits nature can have on their wellbeing. 

The event, titled “Little stories of nature and wellbeing”, will take place in Truro on Saturday November 11, as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science.

“Little stories of nature and wellbeing” is an interactive workshop, which will include contributions from wellbeing researchers at the University of Exeter, as well as from experts at the Cornwall-based charity Sensory Trust.

Research shows that older people can struggle to access nature or to spend time outside. Older people surveyed said that this could make them feel lonely and isolated.

Dr Noreen Orr, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Our evidence shows that people get real enjoyment and pleasure out of spending time in nature, and this can increase their quality of life. This workshop should provide carers with the skills to allow them to encourage those they care for to spend time outdoors”.

The event will involve nature-based activities which will suggest ways to connect with nature. “The workshop will include activities using natural materials like leaves, feathers and berries, as well as crayons, to create pictures and stories. Our research shows that doing activities like these can encourage people to think in new and creative ways,” said Dr Emmylou Rahtz, of the University of Exeter Medical School.

The session will end with a panel discussion, giving participants the opportunity to have their questions answered by researchers, or members of the charity.

Wendy Brewin, of the Sensory Trust, said: “Nature supports us all to live physically, mentally and socially active lives. Our activities have been developed for and trialled by people living with dementia and their families/carers so that they can continue to enjoy the same benefits and be able to use these activities as coping techniques in daily life.”

The Festival of Social Science comprises a collection of nationwide events, which aims to share economic and social research with audiences across the UK.


If you’re interested in this event, please click here to book:

You can also join the twitter conversation using: #littlenaturestories and #ExeterDementia.

To find out more about dementia research at Exeter, visit:

Date: 16 October 2017