Local mental health charity, Norfolk and Waveney Mind, is delighted to announce a 2 year partnership with the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the charity behind Banham Zoo in Norfolk and Africa Alive in Suffolk. This announcement coincides with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from the 10th to the 16th of May.
This year's theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is nature and the environment and the two charities have teamed up to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this connection can have for mental wellbeing.
During the week and beyond, the charities will be providing opportunities for people to experience, share and talk about nature. Activities taking place within this innovative approach include Norfolk and Waveney Mind having a presence at Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, joint fundraising initiatives and ticket giveaways. Norfolk and Waveney Mind will also provide support to ZSEA to help manage the wellbeing of their staff in the workplace.
Ashley Bunn, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Norfolk and Waveney Mind said: “We are very excited about this partnership and cannot thank ZSEA enough for choosing us. The evidence is clear that access to nature is important for our mental health, something which lots of people discovered during the recent lockdowns. Mental health awareness week is just the start of a partnership which will see us working with the team at ZSEA to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health.
“Norfolk and Waveney Mind are busier than ever, 60% of adults and young people who did not experience poor mental health before the pandemic are now experiencing mental health issues. The incredible support and collaborative opportunities with organisations such as ZSEA will enable us to continue to be there for the people of Norfolk and Waveney.”
Claudia Roberts, CEO at the Zoological Society of East Anglia, added: “We’re delighted to begin this relationship with Norfolk and Waveney Mind, particularly on such a poignant week for mental health awareness.
Connecting communities with nature is one of our charity’s key commitments and so, alongside our ongoing activities with Norfolk and Waveney Mind, we can’t wait to launch our mindfulness garden at Banham Zoo in June 2021. As well as providing space for quiet reflection, we hope the garden will bring our visitors closer to wildlife and inspire them to become advocates for the natural world around us.”