We have teamed up with experts from across Northern Ireland and further afield to develop a month long schedule of fabulous online events that we hope you will enjoy.
Please click the buttons below to download our full events programme; where you can read more about each of the speakers and register for the free sessions.here : This site has been created to host our wonderful blogs from people immersed in nature, health, resilience and community - all connected by their love of the outdoors and the impact it has on them, their work and ultimately their mental health.
Ciara will be writing about why Lough Neagh is an important resource to Northern Ireland and its relevance to Healthy Oceans, Healthy Minds. Ciara will also give some helpful tips on where to explore on the Lough and what to look out for to help you beat the winter blues.
Turning Hurt into passion - My journey with mental health and what I have learned from it. How I’ve turned my experience into a fuel that sustains my mission.
Aileen creates art from sea-tumbled glass, ceramics and wood that she finds on her local beach. Her blog will give us an insight into her relationship with the sea, beachcombing and how it inspires her work.
Catherine is an ocean lover, sea swimmer and Surfers Against Sewage Rep for Northern Ireland. Catherine raises awareness of plastic pollution in and around our coastlines and trying is introduce as many plastic free and low waste alternatives as possible. She'll be sharing some of her top picks and swaps as she takes over our social media for the day.
Mark and Christine from The Rivers Trust, tell the paralleling stories of how rivers have helped overcome deep divides and connect communities in two very different parts of the world, Northern Ireland and South Africa.
Hannah and Chloe came up with ‘Ladies who Litter Pick’ during lockdown when they were going on more frequent walks. During these walks, they were shocked by the litter they were noticing. Their blog tells us about a challenge they undertook to help their community, the environment and the very important charity Womens Aid.
Andrea and Graham Gannon from Peninsula Kelp Company talk us through the holistic journey of Kelp and its benefits.
Entering the water can be a daunting and dangerous experience, Norma MacLeod from Immerse Hebrides and Steve Bowens from H2O Training will host a session focusing on sea safety for open water swimming. This will be a short taster session with plenty of time for Q & A.
Sophy Irwin is originally from Lurgan but moved to the North Coast in 2011 to study a BSc in Psychology followed by an MSc in Applied Psychology (Mental Health & Psychological Therapies) at Ulster University Coleraine. Sophy’s learning on the MSc course helped her as much in her personal life as her professional life. This made her realise that everyone deserves to learn about mental health, not just those who are pursing a career in it. This is when the idea was sparked for her to create a platform to share her learning and experiences in the hope that it might helps others. Sophy’s hope for her Normalise account is that it will do just that...make more normal those things in society that we do not speak about.
Laura is a stay at home mum of 2, Rosa (3) and Saul (1). In 2020 Laura faced an issue that only 2020 would bring – she was unable to purchase nappies in the supermarket due to the pandemic! This forced Laura to think differently and start using reusables. She then set up her online nappy shop, Baby of Mine in May 2020. Cathy has a scientific background, including a PhD in Molecular Ecology and a PGCE in Biology. Cathy worked with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for 5 years before becoming pregnant, with her daughter Amelia (1). Cathy will be talking to us about the changes she has made around the house to reduce single use plastic, including nappies and baby wipes which were high on her list of priority swaps. Cathy and Laura will be chatting about their eco journey, what lead them there, the ups and downs and everything you need to know as a plastic free parent!
Iain runs a mobile SUP School aiming to provide a hub for our community, and visitors alike, to access the world’s fastest growing watersport in Stand Up Paddleboarding, whilst using the wonderful coastal waters that surround us. Iain will be telling us more about what he does, the benefits of getting outside and why we should all value the world around us!
We can choose what impact me make! Infinity Farm based in Belfast and Inspire Wellness Refill Store from Banbridge will talk bees, circular economy, plastic solutions and how taking action can help fight eco-anxiety. Infinity Farm look after the apiary for honey bees at the Stormont estate and run workshops, talks and events that raise awareness of environmental issues. Tonya from Infinity Farm will discuss the fascinating and resourceful ways in which honey bees operate as a circular economy. Can we mimic nature and learn something from the honey bees? See how we can use honey bee by-products to help us along on our journey to reducing pointless plastic. Inspire Wellness Refill Store is run by 3 sisters, Christina, Geraldine & Tanya who will be discussing plastic pollution and why they decided to set up a refill store, their plastic solutions and the benefits of taking conscious action!
AWARE will be sharing information about the services they are providing during COVID-19 as well as a blog focused on mental health and the importance of connecting to nature. Keep an eye on our social media channels to hear all about AWARE and what they do.
Ciaran runs Natural Resilience Workshops and Retreats based in several locations throughout Northern Ireland teaching The Art of Living and more.
Environmental art is of great benefit for children's mental and physical health. It offers the freedom of the great outdoors while engaging in a creative process. Sean will be encouraging participants during this Zoom Talk to get out there and try it for themselves!
Through a series of videos and social media posts the team from Action Mental Health will share their thoughts on how being outdoors and getting involved in positive environmental activities can be a tool when working on the 5 ways to wellbeing. We'll also be hearing from some of their services users about how the outdoors and litter picks have benefitted their mental health.
Dr Susann Power and Rachael Singleton, NI Innovation Lab explore research findings on the benefits of beach cleaning on mental and physical health and eco-tourism. This webinar follows those extraordinary individuals who have taken to the beach with a mission to clean and restore this precious landscape, so often misused by its users. Litter-hunting and story-telling appear as ways to deal with the perpetuity of the litter problem. Together, Rachael and Susann believe that by better understanding beach users and the drivers behind their behaviour, we stand a better chance to making real changes that will positively impact our natural beach environment and allows its enormous value to be protected and sustained.