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Nature charity launches walking mentoring programme

Local youth development charity Grow sets up Walk & Talk to support young people aged 16-24 through the impact of Covid.

Grow walk and talk

A Sheffield-based charity has launched a new programme to help young people who are at risk of mental ill health and feelings of isolation due to Covid-19.

Grow set up Walk & Talk after it was unable to deliver its in-person gardening programmes, with support from South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, SOAR, Sheffield City Council and individual donors.

Young people who are referred to the programme are matched with one of Grow’s trained volunteer mentors, who they can then meet once a week for eight week for walks through local parks and green spaces.

“It’s brilliant to see our volunteer mentors offer support to young people all across the city. It really feels like the community coming together to offer support to people at this challenging time,” said Sarah Walker, coordinator of the programme.

“Covid-19 has certainly had a disproportionately negative impact on those who suffer with mental ill health and we’re keen to play our part in preventing increases in mental ill health,” Grow founder Steven Cotton added.

Young people can be referred to Walk & Talk online, while the charity also welcomes new volunteers to join its team.

Since it was established in 2018, Grow has run programmes combining “coaching with therapeutic horticulture”.

by Sam Walby (he/him)
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