A few months ago we gave a group of young carers from West Cornwall a day out with a difference. Our aim was to connect them with nature, give them ideas for activities they can do with the person they are caring for but above all an opportunity to just be carefree kids.
We took a boat over to the beautiful St Michael’s Mount (giving some children their first ever boat ride) and then set the group their first challenge. Armed with collecting bags, they were encouraged to collect natural items from the ground that they were attracted to especially items with a sensory element. We talked about finding squishy, muddy, smelly, bright, soft or spiky things and after a bit of encouragement they soon got into the swing of it.
The young people became completely energised within minutes of being free to run, skip and jump around such a beautiful environment. After a while we re-grouped and tested out a new nature treasure hunt card game that we had recently developed. The group took on the game with enthusiasm and vigour as they searched the grounds for the items on the cards and tried to be the first back with completed cards.
We also chatted about how the carers could use these resources and techniques to encourage the person they care for to get outside. We discussed the benefits of fresh air, exercise and nature in providing a sense of wellbeing.
A big thank you to the staff at Godolphin Arms and Liz and Dawn from Action for Children who helped us organise the day.