A pioneering women-only volunteering group is set up by Stroud Valleys Project to help local women improve their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. The WOW! Women Outside Working weekly sessions will start on Thursday 23rd August at 10am on Bisley Old Road allotments in Stroud.

working_together_on_the_allotmentWOW! is aimed at women who like being outdoors, growing food and learning new skills in practical conservation.

Ivi Szaboova, Stroud Valleys Project’s Biodiversity Officer who will run the group said: “SVP had a fantastic response to the idea of women-only food growing courses. During two spring courses women worked together in a supportive group and learnt how to grow organic veg. Recent funding from Ecominds allows SVP to start up WOW! Women Outside Working, a new weekly food growing and conservation group for women – a first for Stroud! “

Even just five minutes of outdoor exercise like walking in a wood or working in a garden improves people’s mental wellbeing, according to a study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal. (2010).

WOW! Women Outside Working will be open to women from all walks of life in a direct response to a growing need in the community. Ivi explained: “We were getting an increasing number of women who wanted to volunteer with Stroud Valleys Project but didn’t feel able to join our existing groups which had a lot of male volunteers. The pilot women-only food growing courses proved so popular that SVP now offers WOW! to local women who want to get outside, and improve their fitness and mental wellbeing in a safe space.”

One woman who came to the food growing course and hopes to join WOW! said: “I feel very relaxed on the allotment. There is no traffic noise, just birds. Weeding is very calming: I have to concentrate on separating weeds into annuals and perennials, and focusing on a task makes me feel peaceful.”

Another woman said: “I love the connection to our land and our ancestors – growing food reminds me of the countless generations before us who worked the land to feed themselves.”

And a third woman remarked: “Working in a women-only group feels very therapeutic. I feel we can talk freely about life’s challenges and support each other.”

For more information please contact Ivi Szaboova on 01453 753358.

Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales.    

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

Stroud Valleys Project,
8 Threadneedle Street,
Stroud,
Gloucestershire,
GL5 1AF

Tel: 01453 753358

Fax: 01453 755641

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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