The Galleries in Washington gets behind ‘nature for mental health’ scheme supporting Mental Health Awareness Week

The Galleries shopping centre is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week by encouraging people to get out and about and experience their natural surroundings.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 11:11 am

The Washington shopping centre is also on a drive to improve the local environment by recruiting residents to join their litter pick at Princess Anne Park.

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event, hosted by the Mental Health Awareness Foundation since 2001. It is an opportunity for people to discuss all aspects of mental health and the things in our daily lives which affect it.

This year’s theme is the benefit of nature to our mental wellbeing. The Galleries is encouraging people to go out and experience the natural surroundings their local area has to offer, including parks, beaches and other outdoor attractions.

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From left Paul Stevens and Jan Weatherly of Friends of Princess Anne Park, with Helen Boxall, operations manager at the Galleries.

Washington residents are also encouraged to take part in a litter picking and seed sowing event at Princess Anne Park on Thursday, May 13 at 10am. Volunteers are invited to meet at the Everyone Active leisure centre at 10am.

They will be met by members of the Galleries team and local charity the Friends of Princess Anne Park. Equipment will be provided and sturdy shoes or wellies and gloves are recommended.

People can also inspire others by sharing photographs on the Galleries’ Facebook and Instagram pages of their favourite local places, or of them volunteering at Princess Anne Park.

David McNee, centre manager at the Galleries, said: “We are proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week and to help raise awareness of the work of the Mental Health Foundation.

“During the pandemic, research conducted by the foundation showed going for walks outside was one of the top coping strategies and 45% of people surveyed reported that being in green spaces had been vital for their mental health.

“We have amazing green spaces here in Washington with the stunning North East coastline nearby as well as attractions such as the Wetland Centre now open.

"We hope that people take some timeout of their busy, daily routine, connect with nature and share their images with us to inspire others.

“As well as helping the Friends of Princess Anne Park, throughout the week, centre staff will also be wearing official, branded Mental Health Awareness face coverings with a donation going to the charity.”

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