Inspirational ‘green health prescription’ scheme gets national recognition

A Dundee project has won national recognition for its delivery of ‘green health prescriptions linked to an an e-trike scheme.

The ReDicover Dundee project was set up by volunteers in the Dundee Green Health Partnership to help people overcome barriers to cycling and enjoy sessions in the saddle in local green spaces.

The flagship green health prescriptions project has proved a runaway success and the partnership with Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action has now won the Active Travel Project of the Year at the 2020 Paths for All Volunteer Awards.

Nature-based activities such as walking and cycling through ReDiscover Dundee are being widely used by GPs and other NHS Tayside healthcare professionals, reports The Courier.

Green Health Partnership co-ordinator Dr Viola Marx, said: “Our aim is to connect people with greenspaces for physical and mental health benefits and social wellbeing.

“When people receive a green health prescription, a consultation is held to find out which activities they might enjoy joining. One way we do this is by getting individuals to think about activities that they used to enjoy as children and maybe haven’t done in a while, such as cycling.”

She added: “Some of our participants say they completely forget about their pain while they’re riding the eTrikes, particularly if they have mobility issues and struggle to walk, and the activities enhance their social lives.”

ReDiscover Dundee offered Dundonians free use of e-bikes and e-trikes during the pandemic.

Dr Marx said: “That’s been really successful and beneficial while the usual groups haven’t been running to keep people active and support their mental health.”

Dundee City Council neighbourhood services convener, Councillor Anne Rendall, said: “The benefits of the prescribing scheme are obvious and it’s very easy to get involved. I know the service will only continue to grow and provide residents with new and refreshing ways to boost their health and wellbeing in the city’s outdoors.”

The city group was among 13 different winners at the 11th annual volunteers’ awards.

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