Ruth's story: my lifelong connection with nature

Ruth, a participant of Standing Together Cymru, helps tend a communal garden at her sheltered housing complex in Newport, South East Wales. Ruth has had a ‘lifelong affinity with nature’, and she wants other people to feel the benefits.

Ruth is supported by Standing Together Cymru, a project which aims to improve mental health and build community connections. Our survey found 72% of Welsh adults said being close to nature improves their mood, whilst half said it helped them cope with stress.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the garden. That sounds a bit dramatic, but it has done an awful lot for my mental health. I can come out here feeling very uptight and that I can’t cope with this. And as soon as I get dirt under my nails because I haven’t put my gloves on, I’m at peace.” - Ruth

Standing Together Cymru was completed in May 2021, but its legacy will live on in the people that have been supported and impacted by the project, which continued throughout the pandemic by adapting from face-to-face to telephone support and making new connections between tenants across the four housing associations in South East Wales.

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