SWEEP Blog: Project launch …. and we’re off!

Dr Becca Lovell
By Dr Rebecca Lovell
31 July 2019

Rebecca is part of the SWEEP Investing in Nature for Health project. Her research focuses on understanding the ways people can benefit from proximity to and contact with ‘natural’ environments.

Woman walking coastpath at Beer
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new research project at ECEHH‘Informing environmental investment for health and wellbeing’ funded by the South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP).

The project fits so well with SWEEP’s aims to deliver economic and community benefits to the South West, whilst also protecting and enhancing the area’s natural resources.

Informing Environmental Investment for Health and Wellbeing

Our new project involves academics from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory(PML). We will be collaborating with partners from across the South West, including Plymouth and Cornwall CouncilsPublic Health Dorset, the Environment AgencyWildfowl & Wetlands Trust and the North Devon Biosphere.

The project will run over two years and has three main strands:

1. Actor and action mapping

This part of the project will involve working with our partners to map stakeholders and projects involved in environmental interventions or management for health outcomes across the South West. We will support and connect this stakeholder network, working with them to co-produce a summary of current practice as well as practical guidance documents.

2. Working with young people to design environmental interventions for mental health

Whist young people have been identified as a group particularly at risk of mental health problems, there are few environmental interventions for health designed specifically for them. Using existing links with schools and colleges across the South West, we will conduct focus groups with young people, co-producing a briefing document regarding environmental interventions and activities which could benefit young people’s mental health.

3. Developing a business case that can be adapted for use within a range of sectors

PML will lead this strand of the project, undertaking a comprehensive review of existing evidence and drawing on this to build a business case suitable to underpin future environmental investment for health outcomes. The aim is to produce a flexible business case, allowing adaptation to different sectors involved in this area.

Overall, the project aims to improve cross-sectoral understanding of how environmental investment contributes to health and lead to greater inter-sectoral coordination in planning, designing and managing environments for health outcomes.

There will be opportunities to get involved in this project, we will post details here on the blog as they arise.

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