Although we may not have had as much sunshine as we would usually expect this summer, we have had the chance to get outside to enjoy our gardens, communities and nature, albeit with a touch of drizzle and a few gusts of wind!

At the end of July, we launched our latest competition for the care sector, where we encouraged care homes to get their residents outdoors, celebrating nature in their most creative ways.

We have long known the benefits of getting outside and taking in the fresh air, but how often do we really take in the scenery and notice the creatures, bird and flowers amongst us. In the UK we are lucky to have many animals calling our countryside as well as busy towns and cities, their home. We have colourful and stunning wildflowers lining our roads and an abundance of allotments across counties.

Our Creative Care Home competition showed us just how important and enjoyable it can be for those in residential settings to have nature as a key focus of their activities all year round. We had some great entries from poems, paintings, videos to a story, photos of a variety of nature themed activities and special memories from a former world championship swimmer! Here are our ten winners and some of the entries that they sent to us.

  • Bartley Green Lodge
  • Eliza Palmer Hub
  • Elm Lodge
  • Highwater House
  • Hillcrest Care Home
  • Jim Gillespie House
  • Mantles Court
  • The Chestnuts Retirement Home
  • Tickford Abbey
  • Timken Grange Care Home

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Taking time to really appreciate what nature provides us is not only free, but it comes with many health benefits such as:

  • Boosting vitamin D which is important for bone health and combatting depression
  • Sensory stimuli are especially beneficial to dementia sufferers and can ease symptoms, improving memory and reducing agitation
  • Promoting healthy eating, using fruit and vegetables that you have grown yourself
  • Encouraging a sense of pride and achievement and the cycle of sowing, planting, nurturing and harvesting gives a valuable perspective on personal health and wellbeing
  • Social interaction with others can help combat loneliness

If our competition and winners have you inspired, let us know how you make the most of getting outdoors and your favourite ways to enjoy the spectacular scenery that we are lucky to live amongst.