Mat Dove-Jones, Life Skills Manager, hasn’t let Covid prevent him from reaching out to his volunteers. He has kept in touch via a ‘community green screen’ on his phone. Many of us have embraced technology to reach friends and loved ones, and it’s no different here at the Trust. Mat has been running regular nature-based activities from the wilds over video conferencing. They have proven highly successful.
Since 2015, funded by the Community Lottery Fund, Mat has led his Life Skills volunteers in all manner of activities. These include blacksmithing, bushcraft, green woodworking and wildlife gardening. They learn about conservation and how to use and care for tools and equipment while out on the nature reserves. Socialising with friends in the group has been vital to the success of the project. Our research has shown how much it contributes to improved health and wellbeing.
Life in lockdown has threatened to force many people into isolation. We all know by now how hard that can be on our mental health. Technology has offered us one option. Mat’s virtual nature reserve visits, via community green screen, have been one of the best uses of that technology. Carrying his volunteers with him, he has delved into different habitats, learning about the animals that live there.
“Lockdown has been very boring! What helped me is getting to go out to the nature reserves via a Zoom call with Mat. I still get to chat with my friends and take part in the activities. It’ll be nice to be back for real though.” Phil, volunteer.
You can read the full story in the Winter Issue of Wild Tees Magazine. Become a member and you will receive your issue of Wild Tees Magazine and much more. Hit that ‘Join’ button at the top of the page!