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Green Sefton calls upon volunteers to help boost mental health

The Council’s Green Sefton service is calling on people across Sefton to consider volunteering at an outdoor space in their community as National Mental Health Awareness Week comes to a close this weekend.

Volunteers make a hugely valuable contribution to the management of Sefton’s beautiful coast and countryside. Volunteering can also be a great way for people to socialise with other likeminded people. And there are many mental health benefits to being around nature.

Evidence suggests there are five steps, recognised by the NHS and mental health charity Mind, that can improve mental health and wellbeing. These steps are – connecting with other people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and paying attention to the present moment. All of them are closely linked with volunteering and influence how community opportunities are shaped to promote positive mental health.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Our volunteers are a fantastic asset to Sefton’s communities.

“Not only do they play a vital role in supporting the Council in the upkeep of our green spaces and 22-mile coastline, they also reap the benefits of being outdoors and connecting with nature.”

Mark Shaw, Green Sefton Service Manager, said:

“It’s been a difficult 12 months where we haven’t been able to run as many collaborative volunteer opportunities as we would like to have done, but as the roadmap eases, we can’t wait to resume a full calendar of activities.”

Regular volunteers get involved in every aspect of Green Sefton and its partners’ work. These include practical tasks such as helping collect litter, talking to visitors, leading guided walks and monitoring wildlife or just being an extra set of ‘eyes and ears’ while out walking the dog.

Suzanne McCumiskey, Community Engagement Officer with Green Sefton, said:

“We’ve got an exciting couple of months ahead of us as we’ll be taking part in the Great British Spring Clean, led by the charity Keep Britain Tidy, which also coincides with this year’s Volunteers’ Week. These are fantastic opportunities for anyone who wants to take up volunteering, to help give back to our beautiful parks and stunning coastline.”

Green Sefton is always looking to improve its volunteering opportunities, and as restrictions ease further next week allowing larger groups to gather outdoors, there will be an opportunity that’s right for everyone across the Borough.

Those who register an interest in becoming a volunteer will join a network where upcoming opportunities will be shared with them. Activities are arranged during both weekdays and weekends so that everyone has a chance to take part if they wish.

To find out more, people can contact the Green Sefton team directly by email at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

READ MORE: Liverpool parks and green spaces to be protected forever

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