Frontline Futures: Programmes

The capacity of front-line public services is crucial to everyone’s wellbeing: these include the NHS, local authority functions, and parts of the voluntary sector. Currently we are seeing a severe upturn in burnout and staff turnover in many areas, alongside rising demand and shrinking resources. During 2019, we ran Woodland Resilience Immersions for Hospital Doctors, GP’s, and mental health professionals. The description below gives you an indication of the programme format.

CURRENT EVENTS

Nature Immersion Course for GPs: March 21-22, October 13-14, 2022

The Devon venue and facilitators for these programmes will be the same as the October 2021 group described below, and the content will be broadly the same. Details of how to book will be available in early 2022. For details of the March course, see here. Please note that the course is only open to Tamar and Wessex Faculty members.

Nature Immersion for Climate Distress 

A CPA-sponsored workshop for therapists and counsellors 

Tues May 17 – Wed May 18: Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury 

We can see that the climate crisis is worsening, and we need new ways to respond to rising climate distress. This experiential workshop is designed for therapists, counsellors and other professionals, offering you a chance to explore and learn how Nature immersion can be part of your approach, both with individuals and groups, drawing on many years of this work by the facilitators and at this unique venue. See here for full details.

Nature Resilience Immersions: programme options

Whilst the idea of Nature immersion for medics may seem novel, there is good research evidence for it, for example in the book Your Brain on Nature from Harvard Medical School. Programmes can be tailored to different client groups and a range of formats.

The four main formats offered are:

One-night residential: Typically a 24 to 36 hour workshop including overnight stay. Key elements include:

  • Conservation work and physical activities together to de-stress, relax into the woods and shift gear.
  • An evening campfire circle for sharing, mutual support and insights on work stresses
  • Learning about resilience from the woodland ecosystem, and practical tools for our own wellbeing and our teams.
  • Practicing simple techniques based on applied neurobiology, mindfulness and traditional sources which can be used in everyday work.
  • Processes and time to consider better approaches for tackling work challenges and systemic pressures.

Two-night residential: This longer format covers the same elements described above, but with time for deeper exploration, reflection and application.

Action Learning Programme: A group of 10-18 participants share a journey over 4-8 months exploring issues in depth, which may be individual, team, or systemic. Each programme typically involves residentials, plus group sessions in the workplace, online support, Skype calls etc. These programmes can be delivered by our team, or in partnership with others.

One-day non-residential: This would cover some elements of the one-night residential, but on a taster basis.

Facilitators

Nature Resilience Immersions have at least two facilitators, one a medical professional, one experienced in nature contact for resilience and well-being for the health sector. The lead facilitators are:

David Peters trained as a GP and has worked in a range of professional roles in the NHS. Founder and Director of the Westminster Centre for Resilience (WCR), now an Emeritus Professor.

Alan Heeks Many years of experience in using ecosystems as a model for human resilience, and has created the Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness model. See www.naturalhappiness.net.

Jane Sanders is a psychotherapist and group leader with a special interest in ecopsychology and deep ecology, with several years’ experience of leading resilience and wellbeing groups at Hazel Hill Wood.

Helen Kirk Helen trained as a doctor, and held leading roles at Salisbury Hospice for over 20 years, including as Clinical Director.

Alan Kellas worked as a GP in NHS, private holistic and self-help settings, then as a consultant NHS community and inpatient psychiatrist for children and adults with learning disabilities, and as tutor on the whole person care programme at Bristol Medical School. He has a deep interest in nature connections as a factor in health.

Lucy Loveday Lucy is a GP and GP Trainer in Devon, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Performance and Innovation South West.

Marcos Frangos Has led numerous resilience programmes for health professionals and other front-line services, and managed wellbeing strategy in large local authority.

Daghni Rajasingam is a consultant and Deputy Director for Postgraduate Medical Education at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and has worked closely with WCR for several years.

About Hazel Hill Wood

Hazel Hill WoodHazel Hill is a magical 70-acre wood, near Salisbury. It has simple, yet beautifully crafted off-grid wooden buildings with lovely indoor and outdoor group spaces, basic accommodation in bedrooms and sleeping lofts (or camping), good hot showers and compost loos, plus a sauna. The wood is run by an educational charity whose aims are to promote wellbeing, resilience and sustainability through programmes at the wood for a wide variety of client groups. The food is outstanding! For more information or direct venue bookings, see www.hazelhill.org.uk.

Interested?

To discuss a tailored programme for your group, team or network, please contact Alan Heeks via email or telephone 07976 602787.

PAST EVENTS

Nature Immersion Course for GPs – 21-22 October 2021

Overview

The Tamar Faculty and the Hazel Hill Trust are delighted to be running this two day nature resilience immersion course with overnight stay.  It will offer a different way to gain new insights and skills and to raise your resilience and nourish your wellbeing.

The course is being held at a farm located in the heart of Dartmoor, surrounded by both farmland and wilderness.  Workshops will be held outside.

Overnight accommodation and meals will be provided.

RCGP members – £100.00
Non-members – £250.00

Course description

The impact of prolonged overload and the stress of facing ever-rising demands with shrinking resources calls for new creative responses. Join Us! Be part of the first ever RCGP Nature Immersion for GPs – a different way to gain new insights and skills, to raise your resilience and nourish your wellbeing.

In collaboration with a team of leaders and specialists in the field of nature connection for wellbeing, we are delighted to bring you this pioneering RCGP nature resilience immersion course with overnight stay. 

Launched at the RCGP National Conference in 2019, and postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, this two-day immersive course, delivered on Dartmoor, will offer individuals the opportunity to reconnect with the natural world in a safe, supported and facilitated environment. 

This Nature Immersion course is leading the way for wellbeing for the NHS workforce. The two-day course will offer GPs the opportunity to develop skills that cultivate a sense of wellbeing, drawing upon the neurobiology of resilience & applying theory through experiential learning. 

Never before has there been such urgent need for the restorative effects that nature has to offer, to be placed at the heart of recovery for frontline staff. This course will provide individuals with the space to reflect, learn and connect. To restore yourself as you take valuable time to be with nature. The workshops and activities are delivered mostly outdoors, and each offers the individual the opportunity to develop new ways of thinking and being for a sustainable future.

The venue provides a beautiful space for quiet retreat, away from the noise of an increasingly tech dependent world and into the wilderness of Dartmoor National Park. Tailored to GPs, the programme will include:

  • Practising simple techniques based on applied neurobiology, mindfulness and traditional sources which can be used in everyday work.
  • Learning about resilience from the woodland ecosystem, and practical tools for our own wellbeing and our teams.
  • Conservation work and physical activities together to de-stress, relax into the land and shift perspective.
  • An evening campfire circle for sharing, mutual support and insights on work stresses.
  • Processes and time to consider better approaches for tackling work challenges and systemic pressures.

This programme has been jointly developed by the University of Westminster Centre for Resilience and Hazel Hill Trust following four very successful pilot programmes with junior hospital doctors, psychiatrists and GPs. The Westminster Centre for Resilience has over 20 years’ experience of helping medical professionals. Hazel Hill Trust is an educational charity and leader in nature-based resilience.

Facilitators

Alan Heeks, Professor David Peters and Dr Lucy Loveday.

Programme

Thursday 21st October
Arrival from 12.00, Lunch at 13.00
Workshops begin at 13.45
Supper at 19.30 

Friday 22nd October
Breakfast from 08.00
Workshops begin at 09.00
Course ends at 17:00

Covid-19 Safety

Although national restrictions have been lifted, we will be implementing additional precautions at this event to minimise the spread of Covid-19, these will be reviewed and updated in the run up to the event.  

We will contact delegates nearer the time with details of what we will request of them during the event, e.g. for all delegates to wear face masks indoors. You can also request the risk assessment, outlining specific steps that we will be managing at this event.

Attendees will be asked not to attend if they feel unwell and/or have presented with a positive Covid-19 test within the previous 10 days, and attendees will be able to cancel (and receive a refund where applicable) up until the day of the event.

Venue

Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet, Devon, PL20 6SG

Bookings

To register for this event, please follow this link.

Woodland Resilience Immersion For GPs

Nature-based ways to resource yourself and your practice

HAZEL HILL WOOD, NEAR SALISBURY: JUNE 10-11, 2019

A new approach for health professionals:

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The endless grind between rising demands and shrinking resources puts many health professionals at risk of depletion or burnout. Woodland Resilience Immersions offer a different way to gain new insights and skills, to raise your resilience and nourish your wellbeing.

These intensives have been jointly developed by Westminster Centre for Resilience and Hazel Hill Trust, which runs a 70-acre woodland centre near Salisbury.

Who is it for?

Participants to date include a wide range of professionals in the NHS, and other parts of the health and care sector, such as hospices and private care homes, including hospital doctors, GPs and mental health professionals, with participants ranging from junior doctors to consultants, from carers to senior managers.

What will I get from it?

You can expect an array of new, practical resilience skills which you can use and share with colleagues, even when time is very short; a sense of renewal and resourcing; fresh insights into systemic issues of stress and burnout for your team and the wider organisation. Here are some participant quotes:

“Techniques were shown that can be used daily.”

“I felt the staff were very aware of all the participants and really cared about our wellbeing.”

“I want to leave behind in this fire the idea that showing emotion makes me weak.”

Formal evaluations by Westminster Centre for Resilience are available, and show significant reductions in mood disturbance, tension and other factors.