At the Eden Project we are keen to utilise our site in Cornwall to respond to our local communities increasing social and lifestyle related healthcare needs. Based on our experience of supporting groups and individuals to engage with nature and our increasing knowledge about the fundamental contribution that nature can make to our happiness and wellbeing, we decided in 2016, in partnership with St Austell Healthcare (our nearest primary health care service) to launch our social prescribing programme, Nature’s Way.
Social prescribing is a service that enables GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. As part of their prescription to Eden patients with diabetes, COPD or cardiac conditions receive a dose of weekly walking. Those with anxiety and depression are given a prescription for therapeutic horticulture in a quiet area away from the main Eden site. And for those who live locally are over 65 and feel that they are at risk of loneliness and isolation, they are prescribed our weekly walk and talk lunch club.