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January 2019

Beating the Blues, Naturally

Dear <<Name>>
Firstly, we'd like to wish you a very happy new year from all at The Living Coast programme.
It is recognised though that the start of the year can be a challenging time for many people, with the 'winter blues' and 'SAD' syndrome being a common occurrence for many of us.

Outdoors time in Nature can however play a powerful role in helping to counter such tendencies, as promoted through a range of local initiaitives under the 'Green Wellbeing Alliance' (see 'WoW!' below). 
One such incredible initiative is The Grow Project, whose activities are described in this month's 'Bio Blog' (excerpt below) by its director Jo Wren - great work! 
A further example of outdoor experience of nature in The Living Coast benefitting people's mental health, albeit one for the hardy, is that of local resident Kim Moore's "cold water love affair" - read our 'Spotlight' article to hear her inspirational story of sea swimming.

Lastly, do check our monthly 'Nature Now' diary (intro below) to learn what you could find on an excursion outdoors, and take a look too at the TLC 'Eco Events' calendar (selection below) if you'd like to take part in an organised group activity.

Best wishes for your wellbeing in 2019,

Rich Howorth
Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership
Bio Blog - Beat those Winter Blues: Get Outside!
by Jo Wren, The Grow Project 

At this time of year many of us struggle with ‘winter blues’ – the lack of sunlight and the short days all contribute to our general tired feeling.  For some this is a minor blip, but for others it can be far more serious.

There is more and more evidence that being outside and connecting with nature has a beneficial effect on our mental health.  For everything from lifting mood, relieving stress, increasing energy levels, reducing depression and improving cognitive functions – nature can be a powerful healer.

The advice of local wellbeing charity Grow would always be to get outdoors as much as you can! Grow has been sharing this advice with people who struggle with mental health issues in Brighton & Hove and beyond for 8 years now. 

Grow runs 8-week courses at Saddlescombe Farm to help people improve and manage their wellbeing on an ongoing basis, using nature as the remedy. People come together and connect with each other and with the outdoors, through a range of activities such as walking, conservation work, and meditation. The effects can be transformational – life-changing and in some cases even life-saving! 

Grow’s next 8-week group will be starting at the end of February – see the website
Read Blog
WoW! - Window on Our World
Natural Wellbeing initiatives available through the 'Green Wellbeing Alliance' cover a range of local projects...
WoW! - read on
Eco Events
Some activities to get better connected with nature in January include: 
- Wellbeing workshop - Food & Mood, Whitehawk  -Thurs 10th am 
- Butterfly Egg hunt, Woods Mill-Sun 20th am
- Chalk Aquifer workshop, Lewes-Sun 20th pm
- Shrub planting, Woods Mill-Sat 26th (book)
View Calendar
Nature Now

It's mid-winter and life is largely dormant, but the days are already getting longer and there’s lots to see in the night skies...
What's happening in nature?
Volunteering & Jobs
Two exciting local jobs are open for applications in early January, so hurry!:

- Bilingual Facilitator for Interreg Channel funding programme, covering SE England
- Freelance Project Manager (part-time) of 'TLC Undersea Experience' VR Arts tour in 2019
Copyright © 2019 Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere, All rights reserved.

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