Dundee green health project wins award for connecting locals with greenspace


6th November 2020

A Dundee Green Health Partnership initiated project has won a prestigious award for their significant effort and commitment to get a local eTrike project off the ground through the support of volunteers.

The eTrike project, ReDiscover Dundee, enables those who encounter barriers to cycling to participate in sessions in local greenspaces, with the project improving the lives of many in the local community.

Together with Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, the Green Health Partnership and its flagship project ‘Green Health Prescriptions’ have won the Active Travel Project of the Year at the 2020 Paths for All Volunteer Awards.

A member of the Dundee Green Health Partnership and Lali Tudela, played a significant role in the project and without her it would not be what it is today.

The Green Health Prescription connects Dundee’s third sector delivery partners - nature based interventions, such as ReDiscover Dundee, with GPs and other healthcare professionals from NHS Tayside.

Dr Viola Marx, Green Health Partnership Coordinator, 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.”

“Without Lali’s and Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action commitment we would have not been able to make this project a success. Lali trained up as a cycle leader and used her Sundays to lead ReDiscover cycling sessions. She sourced more volunteers to help deliver the sessions until the project became so popular that we were able to get funding for a dedicated cycle leader, who have been in post since February 2020. Now the project is standing on its own feet!

“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 has had more impact than we ever imagined.”

ReDiscover Dundee was created in partnership between the Dundee Green Health Partnership and DVVA as an identified gap in the service provision to enable more people participate in cycling. Hosted by Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, ReDiscover Dundee is one of the nature-based interventions which can be accessed through Dundee’s Green Health Prescription pathway.

ReDiscover Dundee also played a key role providing an opportunity to keep Dundonians healthy and active throughout lockdown by supplying ebikes and etrikes for free.

Dr Marx added: “During COVID-19 ReDiscover Dundee’s eBikes and eTrikes were available to Dundonians for personal use. That’s been really successful and beneficial while the usual groups haven’t been running to keep people active and support their mental health.”

Neighbourhood Services Convener, Councillor Anne Rendall, said: “It’s great to see the Green Health Prescribing project get the recognition it deserves.

“A lot of work has gone into the project to allow everyone to access, enjoy and use Dundee’s parks and greenspaces to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

“The benefits of the prescribing scheme are obvious and it’s very easy to get involved. There’s such a variety of green health activities taking place in the city, for everyone, including walking, access to free trials of electric cycles and trikes for groups, family walks, and arts and crafts.

“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.”

Dundee Volunteer and Volunteer Action: Green Health Prescription group were among 13 different winners at the 11th annual volunteers awards.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “Thanks to the hard work of these volunteers, many more people now live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

“In the 2018 Programme for Government, we committed to work with our NHS, businesses and communities to realise the potential of a shift to active travel – including as a prescription for better health – and this funding through the Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme for Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action is enabling this fantastic work.

“By creating more spaces that encourage active travel, the volunteers are helping to look after our environment and improve air quality, whilst supporting people to walk, wheel and cycle to improve health and wellbeing.”

Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All, said: “Getting outside and going for a walk has been even more important than normal over the last few months for our physical and mental wellbeing.

“The invaluable work of volunteers’ in improving the nation’s physical, mental and social health is amazing, and even though we can’t host our usual Volunteer Award event, we still wanted to celebrate the fantastic work that is happening up and down the country.

“Lali and Viola together with DVVA and the Green Health Partnership, have carried out tremendous work and adapted their work during the COVID-19 pandemic to reflect the changing needs of the Scottish public and for that we have to say a massive thank you.

“Their stories are always inspiring – and this year seems that little more exceptional.”

Paths for All works with the Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives.

The charity awards thousands of pounds worth of grants to worthwhile projects that improve health, promote walking and improve environments for people to be active in.

To find out more about Dundee’s Green Health Partnership visit https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/service-area/neighbourhood-services/environment/dundee-green-health-partnership 

Dundee Volunteer & Voluntary Action

Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action is a Registered Charity (No SC000487) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (No SC093088) Registered address: 10 Constitution Road, Dundee DD1 1LL Dundee Third Sector Interface (TSI) is a partnership between Dundee Social Enterprise Network and Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action

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