Wild Things!’ Silver Saplings programme improves health and wellbeing within our communities by connecting people with the natural environment and each other. We create opportunities for intergenerational engagement across our communities, engaging young and old alike through a wide variety of outdoor and environmental education activities.
Silver Sapling Care Home Programmes
We have worked with Andersons and Meadowlark care homes during our pilot and are extremely grateful for the warm welcome we received in each care home from residents and staff alike. Residents have joined in with a huge variety of activities including plant and tree ID, bird spotting and learning their calls, making bird houses and feeders, planting, learning about animals that may visit the gardens and how to identify them, making bug homes as well as identifying the insects that might live in them and that’s just to name a few.
“I’ve had a wonderful day that I will replay it for weeks. Thank you so much” Daphne
Everyone gained something from the experience with residents reporting better sleep, feeling calmer and more relaxed as well as benefitting from an increased quality and variety in their social interactions.
We would like to warmly thank both Anderson and Meadowlark for helping us to shape our delivery and to increase the positive impact we are having on participants. In addition, we have been encouraged to share our knowledge with activity coordinators, helping them to carry on some of our work independently.
Silver Saplings going from strength to strength
Since the start of the pilot project in March 2019 we have delivered programmes to benefit all ages. Our participants have ranged in age from 5yrs to 97yrs. Early analysis of our data and feedback are showing positive results. Once a complete analysis has taken place we look forward to sharing our findings.
The relationships we made in the 1st phase of the pilot have enabled us to reach some of the most vulnerable members of the community, whilst supporting us to develop engaging and meaningful activities suitable to the needs and abilities of our participants.
So far in total we worked with:
- 2 care homes reaching 23 participants
- 4 groups for day trips reaching 44 Participants
- 4 primary schools reaching 141 Children
- 2 teenage groups reaching 11 teenagers
- That’s a total of 49 days delivered out in nature!
Silver Sapling Day Trips
We have seen four groups and a total of 44 older people from across Moray head out to experience the wonders of Scotland’s stunning natural heritage. Whatever the weather, our participants have ventured out with us on a wide range of exciting outings including watching Osprey hunting in Lossiemouth, rock pooling in Hopeman and a fantastic day at the Macduff Aquarium where we were even lucky enough to meet a family of dolphins!
“We had really positive feedback after last week’s trip. The tenants had such a great time particularly two of our older ladies who rarely leave the development and who often express that they would like to get out more and see people.” Team Leader
Our nature-based day trips have bought back many fond memories that our participants have enjoyed sharing with us as well as our young volunteers. Being able to share stories and feel heard is an important part of our day trips, giving older people the chance to connect within their community.
“A good chance to get out and socialise with neighbours” Participant
“The company and whole experience have been something out of the ordinary. To be taken to these wonderful places in safety is great.” Sue
Intergenerational Community Roots
We have activities planned for 2 Christmas events where primary children and older people from our groups will join together for a day of fun, sharing stories and a mutual love of nature. There will be carols and crafts and a good old fashioned campfire cook-up for young and old alike to enjoy with each other, families and friends.
Little Saplings & Wild and Well
So far 141 primary aged children and 11 teenagers have participated in our health and wellbeing focused Forest Schools and Coastal Classrooms. Pupils have learnt about the importance of protecting our environment and how it can help us to feel better within ourselves.
“We really enjoyed the intergenerational session because the children loved sharing their learning with their families” Teacher
Pupils have played games, made crafts and learnt new skills whilst increasing their knowledge about threats to our wildlife and how we can reduce them. We’ve litter picked and learnt about the importance of recycling, as well as making lots of new friends by the sea including jelly fish, crabs, fish, sea anemone’s and much more. Students were also encouraged to consider their own thoughts and feelings, creating conversations about our own health and wellbeing and how quality time in nature can benefit our physical and mental health. Each course has finished with an intergenerational family day sharing what we have learnt.