An adventure therapy programme is being developed for people using three services in Gwent to help their health and wellbeing, thanks to support from The National Lottery.


The wellbeing team at Gwent Drug & Alcohol Service (GDAS) and The Outdoor Partnership have collaborated to secure the funding to engage people in a range of outdoor activities that offer personal challenge through exploration and discovery within a safe and well supported environment.


Many of these experiences incorporate activities such as cold-water immersion and use of perceived risk, such as being at height, as a mechanism to remove participants from their day-to-day environment while creating safe spaces in beautiful landscapes.


The adventure therapy programmes will encourage participants to connect with nature while developing skills and gaining new experiences.


People using the services of GDAS, Adferiad and Gwent Integrated Autism Service will be able to access a range of outdoor activities over the next year.


The outdoor activities available to service users include canoeing, stand up paddleboarding, mountain biking, bushcraft and rock climbing. All activities will be facilitated by qualified instructors who will also provide the necessary equipment.


“There’s overwhelming evidence demonstrating that time spent outdoors and engaging in outdoor activity can improve health, well-being and promote psychological outcomes such as self-confidence and personal resilience,” said Brett Mahoney, Gwent outdoor activity development officer for The Outdoor Partnership.


“We are incredibly grateful that the National Lottery sees the value in our work to enhance people’s lives through outdoor activities.”


The Outdoor Partnership is a UK-wide charity that supports people to take up outdoor activities as a life-long pursuit to improve their health and well-being.


The adventure therapy programme is now being developed and will be promoted by GDAS, Gwelcol (The Gwent Wellbeing College), the Outdoor Partnership and Kaleidoscope on their social media channels.


Picture caption:


Gorge walking, one of the activities in the Gwent adventure therapy programme.