People Enjoying Nature is an on-going health and wellbeing project which offers supported activity sessions in the Pendle Hill landscape to individuals and groups who are dealing with mental health and social isolation issues.
These sessions offer participants a relaxed opportunity to learn new skills and get involved in different activities, as well as to meet new people and find out about new places.
This project works in close partnership with the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust Community Prevention and Engagement Team, who help advertise and register individuals onto the PEN sessions. We also rely very much on our local community transport provider, Little Green Bus, who we fund to provide free transport to each session.
From April 2023 PEN will be run as part of our new NLHF funded project Connecting People and Nature.
Over the years we have run 183 sessions and we estimate over 200 different people have benefitted, with 1427 session bookings.
In the first four years the group was very successfully led by Jayne Ashe, PHLP Community Engagement officer. Jayne had to adapt the sessions during the pandemic, so she went to visit individual participants and designed and led more short walks close to home.
In 2022 PEN was led by Maj Mahmood of Walk & Talk and Pete Compston of Pendle Plant Craft who put their personal slant on activities through their own lived experience, with a stronger focus on walks (Maj) and foraging activity (Pete).
In 2022 we also re-ran our successful 72 Seasons project in conjunction with The Evaluator and community facilitator Farrah Imtiaz of the DEEN Centre. This introduced 36 people from the Brierfield Muslim community to nature-based activity, via their Islamic faith. You can read the project report here.
We know that individuals who join the PEN project learn new skills and more about local nature and environment. But most importantly we have lots of conversations, lots of smiles and lots of laughter as we enjoy the wonderful Pendle Hill landscape together.
You can read our Year 1 and 2 project reports below-
You can view the PEN project image highlights here and watch our video below.