By KLTV Newsdesk –
A local community group in West Yorkshire has received council-backed funding to continue offering nature walks for parents and guardians.
Parent Sanctuary are a community interest company set up by three mums from West Yorkshire.
During lockdown, they experienced the difficulty of parenting young children without the usual activities on offer.
Rachel, Elizabeth and Charlotte decided to offer a lifeline in the form of their Parent Sanctuary Nature Walks and have now been awarded funding from Kirklees Council.
Parenting during lockdown wasn’t easy for anybody. But for those who gave birth shortly before or in lockdown, COVID-19 restrictions meant bringing your new baby home was quite a different experience.
Parent Sanctuary was set up to combat the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s a community interest group aimed at new parents who needed a safe space to talk, to get out in the fresh air and take part in some gentle exercise – all of which are recommended to combat depression and anxiety.
Nature walks take place across the Kirklees, Calderdale, and Bradford Districts.
Different locations are chosen each time and every week there is a different play prompt.
For parents of newborns, for example, this is simply a new topic to talk to their baby about, and for toddlers and older children, it might be activities that parents can try at home.
The walks also include a meditation session that encourages both parents and children to take a moment of calm and reconnect with nature.
Parent Sanctuary says the Nature Walks have been increasing in popularity since they began in August 2020 and the founders plan to continue the walks, despite restrictions easing.
Now, Kirklees Council has awarded them a £2260 grant from their “Do Something Now” Community Investment Fund to continue running the walks through 2021 and beyond.
Parent Sanctuary founder Rachel Devereux said: “We’re delighted to receive funding from Kirklees Council. We’re passionate about helping other parents and that doesn’t stop because the pandemic is coming to an end.
“Our walks are an important space for parents to learn from other parents’ experiences, spend time in nature, and relax a little.”
Parent Sanctuary also announced that they are adding to their wellbeing provision.
They now offer nature-based wellbeing and resilience sessions in schools, as well as parent coaching workshops.
More information about Parent Sanctuary can be found on their Facebook page.