Isle of Arran - A Recovery Adventure

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Embedding Physical Activity @ The Basement

Our mission at Active Calderdale is to work with communities to make physical activity an embedded part of day-to-day life. As part of our targeted approach to Health and Social care, we partnered up with The Basement Recovery Project and provided funding over 2 years to embed physical activity into their service.  

The Basement Project delivers specialist drug and alcohol interventions across Calderdale and is an award-winning independent organisation with centres in Todmorden and central Halifax. The project believes in a holistic outlook and is a key advocate for the use of exercise in the recovery process. The funding from Active Calderdale has been used to provide members with the opportunity to be active when the time is right and in an environment in which they feel safe.   

The Isle of Arran - Infinity Forest

In March 2023, 8 of their members in recovery were supported to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Isle of Arran. The trip was a physically demanding tree-planting project with a routine of planting in the morning and prepping canes in the afternoon, however, there was also time for members to unwind and be at one with nature. The mental benefits of being outdoors such as lower anxiety and stress, improved sleep patterns and higher self-esteem were also crucial reasons for taking part in the project, for all those involved. As the project neared completion, members had a chance to reflect on the bonds that had been formed between them and the overriding sense of achievement which resulted from planting the new woodlands. As a fitting way to bring the trip to a close members were allowed to name the section of woodland they had planted as a tribute to their endeavours. As a result, Infinity Forest and Kessy Woods were born, to stand as a testament to nature's ability to heal and grow.

Callum's Story

One team member, Callum, was so elated by this life-changing trip that he decided to document his experience and highlight his many emotions throughout his stay. If you would like to read the full account of Callum's stay on the Isle of Arran, please follow the link here.   

"We all had an amazing time planting trees on the Isle of Arran and getting outdoors. It was such a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while also enjoying the island's stunning natural beauty. 

Planting trees on a hillside was more physical than I expected, but it was incredibly rewarding to see the saplings take root and know that we were helping to create habitats for wildlife, prevent erosion, and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The best part was how I felt afterwards. Spending time outdoors and getting some exercise was incredibly invigorating, and it left me feeling more energised and refreshed than I had in a long time.

Callum - The Basement Project

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