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Caithness News Bulletins March 2005

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Green Gym    

BTCV Green Gym
Open Meeting
Monday, 21st March 2005
10am – 12am
Venue: Wick Health Centre


Following an initial meeting in January 2005, BTCV Scotland would like to invite you to attend an Open meeting to discuss the potential for a Caithness and Sutherland Green Gym network.

Green Gym works! Green Gyms got off the ground in Scotland in June 2002, and within 2 years, 14 groups have contributed 880 healthier people within healthy places. For more information on this success story see www.btcv.org.uk

Your local knowledge and support is being sought to explore these opportunities further. Please come along to this open meeting to find out more and share your thoughts and ideas.

This event will be of relevance/interest to all NHS staff, local authority staff, Voluntary health sector, Community health projects, and community planning partners. Other individuals/groups/ organisations with an interest in health, bio-diversity, access and greenspace are also very welcome to attend. Please feel free to copy this information leaflet and pass it on to others.

Open Meeting Programme

10am Welcome and Green Gym Warm up!!

10.05am BTCV Green Gym – What is it and who is it for?
David Graham, Healthy Communities Manager, BTCV Scotland
Heather Duguid, Green Gym Co-ordinator, BTCV Scotland

10.25am Community Health and Wellbeing – a Caithness perspective
Miles Greenford, Public Health Practitioner

10.35am Workshop sessions

· Volunteer involvement and site selection
· Funding options for a Caithness Green Gym
· Green Gym partners

11.10am Tea/Coffee (to include mapping exercise)

11.30am Feedback/Question and answer session

11.55am Closing remarks

For further information or to register an interest in attending this open meeting please contact:
Heather Duguid, Green Gym Co-ordinator, BTCV Scotland, 30 Millbank Road, Munlochy, IV8 8ND. Tel: 01463 811560 Fax: 01463 811661
Email: h.duguid@btcv.org.uk

Everyone who takes part in a BTCV Green Gymâ feels better for doing practical conservation tasks in the open air

BTCV Green Gym offers an alternative approach to exercise by encouraging people to improve their health and fitness through practical conservation work such as planting trees or creating community gardens.

It’s free, fun, varied, social and beneficial to both your local environment and the community.

A recent National Evaluation of BTCV Green Gym participants by Oxford Brookes University produced some startling results about some of the benefits of the Green Gym.

  • 100% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that their health and self-confidence benefited, and that they felt more positive about themselves through their involvement in Green Gym activities.
    · 91% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they learnt new skills and had access to training through the Green Gym.

  • 94% agreed or strongly agreed that their participation in the Green Gym contributed to a better environment, and was valued by the local community and statutory agencies.


Research has shown that taking part in regular green gym sessions can improve cardiovascular fitness and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Almost a third more calories can be burnt in an hour of taking part in a green gym session than in doing a step aerobics class!

Also due to the inclusion philosophy, Green Gyms have proved beneficial in tackling other issues such as social isolation and depression.

One participant Malcom Firth has been attending the Green Gym at Stockport to help him get back to health and overcome depression after being diagnosed with a heart condition. “Each week we tackle a different green project, the green gym is relaxed and friendly and it’s great to see you are making a difference to the landscape”.

The BTCV Green Gym has been up and running since 1997 and there are currently over 60 groups set up across the UK (14 of which are in Scotland), involving 5,000 participants.

GREEN GYM - become fitter and healthier with more enjoyment and less effort, whilst making friends and experiencing the environment.