Phoenix uses conservation to help people realise they have the power to make positive change in their lives. The Recovery through Nature programme, developed over 20 years by Phoenix’s Environmental and Sustainability Manager Jon Hall, enables people in addiction treatment to take part in a wide range of conservation projects. Engaging with nature, and working as a team to conserve our shared natural environment, is a powerful means of improving mental health and wellbeing.
Over the years, thousands of people who use Phoenix services, staff and volunteers have worked to conserve hundreds of areas of natural environment across the UK and planted over 11,000 trees in two ‘Phoenix Forests’.
To promote the message, people in treatment for drug and alcohol use have grown plants at Phoenix’s Recovery through Nature Academy at Shipley Park in Derbyshire. The Academy is a centre of learning for aiding recovery through engaging with nature.
The plants have found a new home at Glasgow’s Queens Street and Anniesland Rail Stations, planted by people in treatment with Phoenix based in Glasgow. The project has been facilitated through Phoenix’s innovative partnership with the ScotRail in the Community “Adopt-a-Station” programme to adopt, maintain and develop green spaces on rail station platforms.
Jon Hall noted “The plants support our ‘Busy Beeing Recovery!’ project as part of the Recovery through Nature programme. We aim to create pollinator rich environments to support our endangered wild bee populations from the first snowdrop in very early spring through to the end of October.”
He added “over the years I’ve seen thousands of people recover from incredible challenging situations, transforming their lives and our environment. We hope that the people attending COP26 will ensure that it is a turning point for the planet.”
Another of Phoenix’s conservation partners, The John Muir Trust, will also be providing saplings to represent our partnership, and our tree planting in support of re-establishing Scottish lowland woodland at Glenlude.
Phoenix have also grown 150 oak saplings to counter the carbon usage in transporting the plants and saplings to the stations.