Dundee volunteer group win award for connecting locals with greenspace

Dundee Green Health Prescription group have won the Active Travel Project of the Year at our 2020 Volunteer Awards.

Together with Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA), 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.

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. This gives them chance to consider changing travel habits, and feel more confident to include more cycled journeys in their daily lives.

A member of the Dundee Green Health Partnership and volunteer, 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’s 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 dedicated cycle leaders. 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.

Find out more about the Green Health Partnership.

This project is supported by Paths for All's SmarterChoices, Smarter Places programme.

The Green Health Prescription group were among 13 winners at Paths for All's 11th annual Volunteers Awards. You can find out about the rest of the winners here.