Category Archives: Events

Green Connections

Introduction to Green Connections:

We tend to spend a lot of time lost in our thoughts, our worries, ‘to do’ lists and plans for the future. Sometimes it’s difficult to be in the present, to appreciate the now, and focus on just ‘being’ – But nature can help you to do that. Nature invites you to pause and look around you. It can help you to feel part of something bigger than you. It can help you to feel calmer and more positive.

Green Connections is our new ecotherapy or ‘greencare’ mental health service designed by Derbyshire Mind and Wellbeing at Whistlewood as part of our wider Enjoying Derbyshire programme. Green Connections aims to provide a retreat-type environment for you to support your mental health and wellbeing by experiencing the many benefits of getting outside, slowing down, and connecting with nature.
We run these Green Connections days once a month from our beautiful Whistlewood Site near Melbourne just outside of Derby.⁠

Many studies have clearly shown that we benefit from being in natural places, being in contact with nature, and from looking after plants and animals. ‘Nature connectedness’ is the name of that relationship between people and the rest of nature, and it is shown to improve our mental wellbing.

“Nature connectedness is a measurable psychological construct that moves beyond contact with nature to an individual’s sense of their relationship with the natural world. We found that people who are more connected to nature tend to have greater eudaimonic wellbeing – meaning they are functioning well – and in particular have higher levels of self-reported personal growth.”  

– Prof. Miles Richardson, University of Derby

What are Green Connection days?

Green Connection days are a one-day experience of connection and relaxation in nature.

Along with our partners Wellbeing at Whistlewood, we are inviting you to step out of the city, slow down, and spend the whole day surrounded by nature and trees at our beautiful community site near Melbourne in South Derbyshire called Whistlewood Common, to see how nature benefits your mental wellbeing.

Our Green Connections days are a full day of slowing and spending time outside in a safe and peaceful location. You will be gently supported through a range of activities to connect with nature, connect with each other, and connect with yourselves and your own mental health. You will leave at the end of the day feeling more relaxed and knowledgeable about how you can continue to use the benefits of nature to support your mental health.

Whether it is raining or sunny, or even snowing, activities are provided in line with the changing seasons and include varying horticultural based activities, conservation activities, natural art and crafts, and ‘forest bathing’.

What is ‘Forest Bathing’?

Forest Bathing is a Japanese practice and is a process of relaxation; known in Japan as ‘shinrin yoku’. It involves a simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply. It has been shown to help adults de-stress and boost their health and wellbeing in a completely natural way.

Where is Green Connections?

Our Green Connection days take place at a beautiful and peaceful private community-owned site called Whistlewood. It is part of the wider National Forest.

The address for Whistlewood is:

Whistlewood Common, The Common, nr Melbourne, Derby, DE73 8DH

The sessions take place once a month on a Thursday. The day runs from 10am until 3pm, with an open invitation to then stay for a relaxed cuppa and a chat until 4pm.

Getting here by Car or Bus:

Whistlewood is located near to Melbourne in South Derbyshire. It takes about 20 minutes to drive here from Derby City Centre. Whistlewood’s track is almost opposite the Dovesite Business Site. Look out for the ‘Animal Farm’ sign.
The Number 2 bus service operates between Derby and Swadlincote and stops just outside – The stop is called ‘The Common’.

Who is Green Connections for?

Green Connections has been designed to benefit adults who are:

  • over 18 years old
  • living in Derby City or surrounding areas
  • experiencing low mood or depression, anxiety, stress, grief and loss, low self-esteem, or feeling alone and isolated (particularly as a result of lockdown)
  • able to spend a day largely outdoors, in all weathers

We have up to 20 spaces available on each monthly full day session.

Wellbeing Outcomes:

We will be using questionnaires to measure potential improvements to wellbeing and nature connectedness outcomes using WEMWBS and the University of Derby’s Nature Connectedness Scale.

We expect to show that time spent immersed in nature in this way, plus through the provision of further activities and ideas to continue to do from home, as well as signposting to other nature based local groups and volunteering opportunities, has a marked improvement on mental wellbeing.

Learn more about Ecotherapy outcomes here: Mind – Ecotherapy

How to Request a Place on an upcoming Green Connections Day:

If you feel you or your client meets our eligibility criteria for this service please complete the appropriate referral form below and we will be in touch with an offer of a date when a place becomes available for you/them:

Professionals – Refer your client

(Derby City Social Prescribers; Local Area Coordinators; Mental Health Practitioners; and so on)

Are you working with a client(s) that could benefit from a place on one of our Green Connections days?  

Please complete this form and we will be in touch with some offers of potential dates:  


Self Referral – Refer yourself

(Derby City Residents, aged over 18, with a mild-moderate mental health condition as described above)

We have places that are available for Derby City residents who feel they would benefit from attending a Green Connections day themselves.

If you are interested, please complete this form. We will review your form and if you meet the criteria we will be in touch with some offers of potential dates:  


Our Partners: ‘Wellbeing at Whistlewood’

We are pleased to be working with our Partners Anne and Helen from Wellbeing at Whistlewood for this Green Connections service.

Anne Bramley is a Forest Therapies Practitioner and Certified Forest Bathing Guide. ​Helen Saunders is a Certified Forest Bathing Guide.

Learn more about Wellbeing at Whistlewood by visiting their website here:

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10 – 16 May 2021 and this year the theme is Nature. Together with our fantastic partners, Derbyshire Mind are bringing you a week free activities focusing on nature and mental wellbeing.

Please get involved and book tickets to the activities that interest you!


Fabric Flowers for Mindful Crafts – With Stacey, StepBallChange and Derby Quad

Join us for our popular Mindful Crafts group with artist Stacey Murray for a relaxed and creative session making fabric flowers together.

Date/Time: Monday 11th, 1.30-3pm.
For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:


Good Mood With Food: Ask a Nutritionist – With Eva Humphries, BANT Nutritionist

Good Mood with Food is our new expert-led nutrition course starting in June. Come along to this Introductory session for MHAW & ask Eva your questions.

Date/Time: Tuesday 11th May, 6 – 6.45pm

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:


Movement and Mindfulness in Nature – With Kat Rooney, Yoga and Mindfulness

A special edition Movement and Mindfulness class where we will be looking at how we can use the gifts of nature in our mindfulness practice!

Date/Time: Wednesday 12th May, 10-11am

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:


Connecting with Nature in the Spring – With Wellbeing at Whistlewood

Join Anne and Helen from Wellbeing at Whistlewood as we explore how to connect with nature to improve your mental wellbeing this spring.

Date/Time: Thursday 13th May, 10-11am

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:

5 Ways to Wild Wellbeing Webinar – Derbyshire Mind and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

You may have heard of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, but you haven’t experienced them like this before! In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week Derbyshire Mind have teamed up with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to help you get wild about your wellbeing!

Date/Time: Thursday May 13th 7pm-8.30pm

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:


Music of our Lives – Special Nature Edition! – With Alex Blood, Derbyshire Music Therapy

Music of our Lives is our expert-led music group starting again in June. Come along to this fun one-off session focusing on nature related songs!

Date/Time: Friday 14th May, 10-11am

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:


Make your Own ‘5 Ways to Wild Wellbeing’ Mobile – With Spiral Arts and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Make your own ‘5 Ways to Wild Wellbeing’ themed mobile to hang up at home as a reminder to weave a little time for your own wellbeing in to every day. – Free craft packs provided.

Date/Time: Saturday 15th May, 11-12pm or 3-4pm

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:
Email with your address & which session you are booking


Rewilding Derby Arboretum: Paint a Postcard – With Spiral Arts and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Using historical photographic postcards of the Arboretum we will get wild with a paintbrush and splash on colour and add your own wild ideas to the images! There will be the option to submit your finished paintings to our ‘Rewilding the Arboretum’ exhibition later in the year! – Free craft packs provided.
Date/Time: Sunday 16th May, 11-12pm or 3-4pm

For More Info and to Book your Free Ticket:
Email with your address & which session you are booking


Join the ‘Wilder Wellbeing’ Facebook Group

Jenny from Derbyshire Mind and Kirsty from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will be discussing all things Wild Wellbeing and discussing valuable approaches to supporting our mental health. Now is the perfect time to join Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Wellbeing Community so you don’t miss out! Sign up to the Facebook group to get involved in the conversation here:

Mindful March Colouring Sheet

Download this Mindful March colouring sheet for yourself this March.

Colouring is a wonderfully relaxing activity that can help your brain switch off after a busy day. It is also a calming quiet practice that helps you slow down and be mindful.

The Enjoying Derbyshire ‘Mindful March’ colouring sheet we have created for you includes lots of references to Spring and nature, and we hope you enjoy taking some time for yourself with this mindful activity.

If you finish your Mindful March colouring sheet, we would love to see a photograph! Just tag us in your photo on social media, or send it to us in a Direct Message on Instagram or Facebook.

Additional Challenge – Can you find and mark your town on the map of Derby and Derbyshire included in the colouring sheet?

Movement and Mindfulness – An Enjoying Derbyshire Course

A friendly beginners mindfulness course, designed to help you enjoy the benefits of gentle movement and bring a sense of calm to your week! – A Derbyshire Mind ‘Enjoying Derbyshire’ course in collaboration with Kat Rooney Yoga and Mindfulness

About this Course:

Join us for some gentle movement, mindfulness, and much-needed relaxation from the comfort of your own living room!

This free 6 week online mindfulness course led by local Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Kat Rooney has been specially designed for our Enjoying Derbyshire programme to help you enjoy the benefits of gentle movement and bring a sense of calm and happiness to your week! Each session with have a different theme which ultimately will provide you with a toolkit of calming grounding techniques.

You can join us for the full 6 week group course, or just for individual sessions, it’s completely up to you!

Course Dates: Wednesdays: 24th Feb, 3rd Mar, 10th Mar, 17th Mar, 24th Mar, 31st March 2021

Time: 10-11am

Location: Online via Zoom

To Book Yourself A Place:

To book your free place onto this specially designed mental wellbeing course, just visit: 


This friendly and enjoyable 6 week group is part of Derbyshire Mind’s Enjoying Derbyshire community wellbeing programme and so is aimed at people living in Derby or Derbyshire with a mild to moderate mental health condition or who are currently feeling anxious, isolated, or low, particularly as a result of lockdown.

If you have any questions, please contact Derbyshire Mind on

You can learn more about Derbyshire Mind and the Enjoying Derbyshire wellbeing programme by visiting:

You can learn more about Kat Rooney and her approach by visiting her website:

Exploring Your Inner Resilience – An Enjoying Derbyshire course for Students

Exploring Your Inner Resilience


‘Exploring Your Inner Resilience’ is a seven week online course for 18-21 year old students that is designed to explore feelings of stress and anxiety and build resilience. An Derbyshire Mind ‘Enjoying Derbyshire’ course in collaboration with Bello Mind and Soul.
About this Course:

Join local Creative Arts Practitioner Dani Bello for an online wellbeing and empowerment course, designed specifically for students (18-21 years old) living or studying in Derbyshire and experiencing low mood and worries as a result of keeping up with studies and the ongoing lockdowns!

This 7-week course will invite you to explore your inner resilient self and help you to ignite your inner strength and power. By taking part in the creative activities, you will be lead on a journey of self-discovery and learn to support yourself in the best way!

Each session will help you explore and express a range of different emotions such as combating loneliness, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem and so much more. You will be leaving each session feeling uplifted and motivated, and having so much more energy to focus on yourself and your studies during this difficult and unpredictable time.


Course Dates (Delivered via Zoom):

Course Dates: 4th March 2021, 11th March 2021, 18th March 2021, 25th March 2021, 1st April 2021, 8th April 2021, 15th April 2021 from 7.00pm – 8.30pm


To Book Yourself A Place:

To book a free place onto this specially designed wellbeing course for students, just visit: 


Enjoying Derbyshire:

This friendly and enjoyable course is part of our Enjoying Derbyshire community wellbeing programme and so is aimed at students in Derby/Derbyshire aged 18-21 who are currently feeling isolated or low, particularly as a result of this latest lockdown, or experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Like all of our Enjoying Derbyshire courses, this course is free and is kindly funded though donations and fundraising.

If you have any questions, please contact Derbyshire Mind on

You can learn more about Derbyshire Mind and the Enjoying Derbyshire wellbeing programme by visiting:

You can learn more about Danielle Bello and her approach by visiting her website:

Music of our Lives – A 4-week Enjoying Derbyshire wellbeing course

Music of our Lives course graphic
Music of Our Lives is a 4-week online wellbeing group where our relationship with music and the songs we love is used as the starting point for reflection.
An Derbyshire Mind ‘Enjoying Derbyshire’ course in collaboration with Derbyshire Music Therapy.
About this Course:

Music and song often captures how we are feeling or touches us emotionally at times when we need that support that words and talking cannot provide. In some cases music may be our only refuge, either due to loneliness and isolation or simply because music makes us feel understood when it seems nobody else can understand.

In this four week short course, music therapist Alex Blood from Derbyshire Music Therapy, will lead you on a journey into the music you love. Together we will explore how music can bring back memories, support us when we are feeling low, lift us when we are feeling happy, and how it brings us together as a community! Alex will facilitate the sharing and discussion of why music is supportive to us during times when we are not feeling so strong. During the session you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and talk about your own special pieces of music and song, as well as being offered recommendations or listening activities to carry out between sessions to reflect on next time.


Two Groups of this Course Are Being Run Together:

There are two groups running for this course, based on age, as we felt that these two different age groups would have different musical experiences and music memories which would work better if they were delivered separately. So we have group one running on Wednesday evenings, and group two running on Thursday mornings:

Group One is for the 18-50 year old age group and meets online on Wednesdays on these dates: 17th February 2021, 24th February 2021, 3rd March 2021, 10th March 2021 at 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Group Two is for the 50+ year old age group and meets online on Thursdays on these dates: 18th February 2021, 25th February 2021, 4th March 2021, 11th March 2021 from 10 am – 11 am

This friendly course is part of our Enjoying Derbyshire community wellbeing programme and so is aimed at anyone in Derby/Derbyshire who is currently feeling isolated or low, particularly as a result of this latest lockdown, or experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Like all of our Enjoying Derbyshire courses, this course is free and is kindly funded though donations and fundraising.


To Book Yourself A Place:

To book a free place on one of these 4 week courses just visit: 


If you have any questions, please contact Derbyshire Mind on

You can learn more about Derbyshire Mind and the Enjoying Derbyshire wellbeing programme by visiting:

You can learn more about Alex Blood and his psychodynamic approach by visiting his website:

Winter Wellbeing Journal: A Collective Wellbeing Activity

Have you heard about journaling? Journaling is super simple, and involves keeping a written notebook to explore your thoughts and feelings surrounding a topic or the events of your life. 

There are really not any rules although most journaling is a daily exercise, but it is not a planner or a diary. 

Journaling is a really useful check-in tool. There are times in our lives when we feel balanced and motivated, and other times when we’re stressed and overwhelmed. Taking time each day to put pen to paper and just letting your thoughts flow helps you to reflect on it all and feel better.

Journaling has well known benefits, like a boost in mindfulness, wellbeing, memory and communication skills. But studies have also found that writing regularly in a journal can lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system, and more self-confidence!

Some people just like to let their thoughts out each day by writing about whatever comes to mind, but some people like to write around a ‘journal prompt’. A journal prompt is a thought or a question for you to specifically think about that day. It could be something like ‘What makes you a good friend?’ or ‘What would your letter to your teenage self say?’, then you let your thoughts run free around that topic. 

Using prompts is a great way to start your new journaling habit as it removes the problem of ‘what should I write about today?’. So for our Winter Wellbeing Journal activity we will be providing you with a prompt each day for you to use.

Look at your journaling time as a personal relaxation time, and a time to get to know yourself a little bit more. It’s a time when you can de-stress and wind down. Choose to write in a place that’s relaxing and soothing, maybe with a cup of tea. Look forward to your journaling time. And know that you’re doing something good for your mind and body.

So how will our Winter Wellbeing Journal daily activity work?

Every day we will post a simple journal prompt on our both our Derbyshire Mind Facebook and Instagram pages. You are then invited to write this down into your journal notebook. It will be written in the form of a question and is designed to start you thinking! You can then find time that day to get comfy with a cup of tea and explore the question by letting your hand write. It is a great idea to set aside a dedicated time to write each day.

Then, each week on a Friday afternoon at 1.30pm you are invited to join me on Zoom for a virtual cup of tea, to have a chat, and discuss how we have got on with our journaling that week. Stay as long as you like! I look forward to connecting with you all.

What do you need to take part?

All you need to take part in our Winter Wellbeing Journal activity and to start your daily journaling practice is a notebook, a pen and a comfy chair (and maybe a cosy hot drink!).
You might like to find a new blank notebook and a pen that feels nice to write with. Maybe you have a fancy notebook tucked away somewhere from an old christmas present. Starting your journal is a great opportunity to dig it out!

If you want to join in with our Friday virtual meet ups, then you will also need either a laptop or a phone that you can use to click on the Zoom link, or type in the meeting code and password:

Zoom Meeting: Derbyshire Mind Winter Wellbeing Journal Coffee
To Join the Zoom Meeting on Fridays at 1.30pm:

Meeting ID: 956 7048 1820
Passcode: WWJ2020

Top Tips to help you:

  • Try to find time to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. This will help you to build up the new habit. We will be posting the new prompt each day at 10am.
  • Make it easy. Keep a dedicated pen and notebook handy. Then when you want to write down your thoughts, you can. You could also keep a journal in a computer file if that’s better for you.
  • Write whatever feels right for you. Your journal doesn’t need to follow any certain structure. It’s your own private place to discuss whatever you want. Let the words flow freely. Try not to worry about spelling mistakes or what other people might think. 
  • Use your journal as you see fit. You don’t have to share your journal with anyone. If you do want to share some of your thoughts with trusted friends and loved ones, you could show them just parts of your journal.
  • Try different environments. You could take your journal outside and sit on a bench to write. Try a local park, or space in nature. Your garden works well too. A bit of fresh air will help your brain.
  • If you don’t like the prompt that day, feel free to write something else. You could even draw pictures or make a collage to support your thoughts if you would like to.

I hope you feel inspired to join in with our daily journaling activity and find it a useful way to support your wellbeing this winter!

Derbyshire Mind Facebook:

Derbyshire Mind Instagram:

Derbyshire Mind gains new Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM)


Derbyshire Mind has been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi).

The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy; an essential service for people who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives.

To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers have to undergo a rigorous self-assessment process and policy review.

This is followed by a structured site visit for NDTi assessors to meet advocates and the people they support.  As well as it being good practice for Local Authorities to provide advocacy to people at risk of exclusion, commissioners are required to provide statutory independent advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and more recently the Care Act.


The Advocacy QPM provides them with a robust benchmark to measure independent advocacy services, ensuring they select the very best providers.


Sarah Harrison, Service Director said “On behalf of Derbyshire Mind, I am delighted with the recommendation that we are awarded the QPM for a further 3 years in recognition of the high-quality support provided by our dedicated team of advocates.”


Gail Petty, QPM Manager and Lead for Advocacy and Rights at NDTi said:

The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives.  It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”

Originally developed by Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Department of Health funded NDTi to review and revise the QPM in 2014, working with providers, users and commissioners of advocacy services. The application process was streamlined to be as straightforward as possible, while retaining the rigour required to ensure that high standards are met.  It is available to organisations providing independent advocacy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Further information can be accessed and applications can be made via

Mindful Crafts at Quad, Derby

Mindful Crafts is a creative group taking place 1-3pm on the second Monday of each month during Spring / Summer 2019 at Quad, on the Market Place, Derby.

Each month there will be a different theme. All workshops will be delivered in a relaxed and supportive environment, suitable for adults to learn new skills whilst improving confidence and self esteem.

These workshops are free to attend and all materials are provided on the day, just bring yourself! You are welcome to bring a bottle of water with you, with other refreshments are available from the on-site coffee shop.

Booking is recommended as places are limited.

Delivered in partnership with Quad as part of their Year of Wellbeing, Derbyshire Mind’s Enjoying Derbyshire project and Step Ball Change.


To book:

Call Derbyshire Mind: 01332 623732




1:00pm – 3:00pm on Monday 8th April 2019
1:00pm – 3:00pm on Monday 13th May 2019
1:00pm – 3:00pm on Monday 10th June 2019



QUAD, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AS


What can I expect from the session?

Each session is set out to be welcoming and supportive, with different themes. If you’re not sure about trying something out, please ask a member of staff for more information about what it is to help you decide what you would like to participate in.

Quilting for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Derby

A small and supportive group using quilting as a tool to explore Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Discover how the slow-paced and soothing process of quilt-making can be a rewarding and relaxing activity for individuals with lived experience of PTSD and their supporting family and friends.

This course is designed and delivered by Derby Adult Learning Service in partnership with Derbyshire Mind.

This 8 week course starts Thursday 9th May 2019

1:15pm to 3:15pm
At the Village Learning Centre, Browning Street, Derby, DE23 8DN

Free to attend

This workshop is free to attend and is suitable for adults with mild – moderate mental health difficulties and individuals supporting someone else.

All materials are provided and no previous experience is needed.


To book a place:

Booking is recommended as places are limited.
T: 01332 717 900